Tiny micromotors could eat CO2 in our oceans

Posted at 7:59 AM, Oct 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 07:59:38-04

It may be part of the solution to cleaning up our oceans. 

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have designed tiny machines that can efficiently remove carbon dioxide by rapidly zooming around through water.

The UC San Diego team says the micromotors then take the carbon dioxide and convert it into calcium carbonate—a solid mineral found in eggshells, even the shells of different marine organisms.

This proof of concept study from the nanoengineers could one day help manage the buildup of the major greenhouse gas in the environment.

The micromotors are basically long tubes  with an outer surface that holds an enzyme which speeds up the reaction between carbon dioxide and water.

These devices are also smaller than the width of a human hair. 

Right now, the micromotors are propelled by a hydrogen peroxide additive, but researchers hope to make micromotors that can be propelled by water.