The year 2008 saw the announcement of the invention known as the “synthetic tree” or the carbon-di-oxide scrubber that was invented by Klaus Lackner that can suck the CO2 from the skies far more efficiently than a tree could. But some two years later, this much-touted geo-engineering marvel seems to absorb as much carbon di-oxide as it emits CO2 in the process, defeating the purpose of this invention.

Now scientists in India have found a new solution – use eggshells.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Global Warming, the author of this study, Basab Choudhari (from the University of Calcutta) has found that a membrane commonly found in eggs is able to absorb seven times its weight in CO2, and if the gas can be captured, it will be easy to store the gas as well.

With the membrane being as “thick” as 100 micrometers, it can be separated by a weak acid, after which it can be used as a CO2 absorbent. This discovery could work if an economical industrial process is designed to separate the membrane from eggshells which could each absorb tiny amounts of CO2.

The only caveat, as pointed out by the authors of the study, is that if an economical industrial system is able to separate these membranes but uses a large amount of energy to do so, this geo-engineering discovery would be rendered useless as it will produce the same amount of CO2 as well, following the path of Klaus Lackner’s carbon scrubber.