Carbon Dioxide…it’s bad news, that stuff. Causing us no end of problems at the moment. But a lot of it gets absorbed by the sea. So why don’t we use it for something (literally) constructive? Autopia Ampere is the science fiction-esque dreamchild of a German architect called Wolf Hibertz. Using a technique called ‘mineral accretion building technology’, he plans to take the CO2 in sea water, turn it into limestone and build a city from it.
This isn’t as blue-sky as it may sound – the technology is proven and has been used to build reefs and landing pilings in the Caribbean. Simple electrolysis (passing current through electrodes) will cause calcium carbonate (limestone) to accrete around the electrodes. Once the hypothetical city is built, it will be able to support itself economically by growing limestone for shore-dwellers, all the while providing a great way of getting carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and locked up somewhere it can’t make our environmental problems any worse. Sounds like a plan to me.
Link accreted at the Kircher Society.