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The big metal container in Klaus Lackner’s lab doesn’t look like it could save the planet. It mostly closely resembles a dumpster – which it sort of is. As Lackner looks on, hands in the pockets of his pressed khakis, the machine begins to transform. Three mattress­-shaped metal frames rise from the guts of the receptacle, unfolding like an accordion as they stretch toward the ceiling. Each frame contains hundreds of white polymer strips filled with resins that bind with carbon dioxide molecules. The strips form a kind of sail, designed to snatch the greenhouse gas out of the air as wind blows through the contraption. This story is part of our March/April 2019 Issue See the rest of the issue Full story

25 March