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Name: Timothy
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: PA
Country: USA
Date: Fall 2009

Question:
Hi!! Thanks for taking the time to look at my question: Is it possible to create a filter that will help remove carbon dioxide (or CO2) from the air? I am not interested in how much it will remove, I would just like to know if it is possible.



Replies:
Yes, it is possible.

Water, for example, will absorb CO2 from the air (and the oceans store a LOT of CO2). Many materials and chemicals will absorb CO2 as well -- much research is being done to find the best, cheapest, and most effective ways to do this.

Hope this helps,

Burr Zimmerman


Hi Tim

US Navy nuclear submarines have atmospheric scrubbers to remove exhaled carbon dioxide from the submarine's breathing air and restore the oxygen content for the crew.

Here is an article from Googling "Carbon Dioxide Scrubbers"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_scrubber

Here is another interesting article about scrubbers.

http://www.frogdiver.com/scrubber.html

Sincere regards,
Mike Stewart
CDR USNR (Ret)


The Apollo 13 astronauts made one after their spacecraft was damaged. They ingeniously took items that they had aboard their spacecraft, and filtered their exhaled air so they would have a source of oxygen. I did a search for "Apollo 13 and carbon dioxide filter" and found several references. I hope the link below works for you.

http://www.worldalmanacforkids.com/WAKI-ViewArticle.aspx?pin=fflf-0002060&article_id=573&chapter_id=12&chapter_title=
Science&article_title=Apollo_13:_A_Successful_Failure

Patricia Rowe


Timothy,

Yes, you can remove CO2 from the air with a variety of different filter types and filter media.

There are many different types of filters depending on whether you are trying to remove the CO2 from a house, a commercial or manufacturing process, or a chemical reaction in a laboratory.

One of the most famous cases of CO2 removal was the Apollo 13 spaceflight where the astronauts had to replace their CO2 filters (called scrubbers) using a combination of duct tape, hoses, and other objects they had available. The CO2 filters on Apollo 13 used Lithium Hydroxide to react with the CO2 and remove it from the air.

Ian Farrell


You may find a CO2 filter if you do a web search. One way is to bubble the air stream through a saturated solution of Ca(OH)2. This reacts with CO2 forming insoluble CaCO3. How much it will remove depends not just on the reaction, but equally as important is the design of the apparatus. You will want some sort of gas bubbler -- you can find these in an aquarium supply store. This maximizes the contact area between the gas bubbles and the solution.

Vince Calder



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