Mechanical ‘tree’ planted at Arizona State University in hopes of fighting climate change

Apr 22, 2022, 2:15 PM

(Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News) (Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News) (Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU News)

PHOENIX — A mechanical “tree,” the first of its kind, has been planted at Arizona State University in Tempe in a test of a new technology designed to fight global warming.

The MechanicalTree was built by Carbon Collect, an Irish company, based on research from ASU professor Klaus Lackner.

The 33-foot-tall tower, which is designed to remove carbon dioxide from the air, was installed on a test pad near the Biodesign C building.

The Tempe installation will help researchers determine if the technology could be effective on a wider scale.

Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere traps heat and contributes to global warming.

“Carbon dioxide is a waste product we produce every time we drive our cars or turn on the lights in our homes,” Lackner said in a press release.

“Carbon Collect’s MechanicalTree can recycle it, bringing it out of the atmosphere to either bury it or use it as an industrial gas.”

The metal column has 5-foot diameter disks that each hold six leaves. The device collects and stores carbon that can later be purified, processed and put to other uses.

It is expected to removed up to 200 pounds of carbon per day.

“We had the opportunity to solve this problem 40 years ago,” Lackner said. “We now seem to have locked into the problem.

“We are going to have to pull some of the carbon out of the atmosphere in order to balance this.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Ability360 Photo)...

Ability360 works to support independent living for those with disabilities

KTAR's community spotlight this month focuses on a Valley business that offers various services to those living with disabilities.

21 hours ago

Editorial members of the Austin American-Statesman's Austin NewsGuild picket along the Congress Ave...

Associated Press

Hundreds of journalists strike to demand leadership change at biggest US newspaper chain

Journalists at two dozen local newspapers across the U.S. walked off the job Monday to demand an end to painful cost-cutting measures and a change of leadership at Gannett, the country's biggest newspaper chain.

21 hours ago

(Unsplash Photo)...

2 young children hospitalized in critical condition following crash in Glendale

Two young children and a total of five people were hospitalized in critical condition Monday following a multivehicle crash in Glendale.

21 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Quantá for AZ)...

Quantá Crews selected to replace Flavio Bravo in Arizona House

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors appointed Quantá Crews on Monday to replace Flavio Bravo in the Arizona House.

21 hours ago

File phot of the back of a Phoenix, Arizona, police officer. The Phoenix Police Department unveiled...

Kevin Stone

Phoenix Police Department unveils strategic plan to reduce crime

The Phoenix Police Department on Monday unveiled a strategic plan that takes a community and victim-centered approach to reducing crime.

21 hours ago

Booking photo of Raul Perez Ochoa and a file photo of a Gilbert Police Department cruise. Ochoa, an...

East Valley massage therapist accused of sexual offenses

An East Valley massage therapist accused of sexual offenses was arrested last week, and police are looking for more possible victims.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”

(Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona Photo)...

Desert Institute for Spine Care in Arizona

5 common causes for chronic neck pain

Neck pain can debilitate one’s daily routine, yet 80% of people experience it in their lives and 20%-50% deal with it annually.

Mechanical ‘tree’ planted at Arizona State University in hopes of fighting climate change