Tito Jankowski about me: I've been a biohacker, a hardware manufacturer, a medical device designer, a patent infringer, and a sailor. Prior to launching Impossible Labs, I co-founded the BioCurious hackerspace, built an open source biotech device called OpenPCR, and wrangled startup+corporate partnerships at Runway Incubator in SF. Sc.B in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University.
Tito Jankowski about Matthew Eshed: Matthew leads Product and Operations of Impossible Labs. His mission is to support technology that enables a stronger bond between humans and nature. He has designed, piloted, and launched manufacturing systems for high-tech (consumer 3d printers, internet of things), medium-tech (roof shingles), and low-tech (artisan cookies) products, and is a strong advocate for Cradle to Cradle principles of product development.
OpenPCR is a pretty well known project, could you give a summary of hat that was about?
@LuterFire sure! OpenPCR is copy machine for DNA. The core technology won a Nobel Prize for its creator awhile back, and when the original patents expired we built an open source version. There are thousands of these in labs and biohacker labs around the world now. Other entrepreneurs have implemented the open source code and design for their own PCR machine designs too!
and a whole bunch of the honorary mentions were climate related things, there was a guy with a DIY radiation scope, and also a CNC machine for planting crops. I wasn't a climate change or environmental guy at all. but it kicked off this idea of 'what if as engineers and scientists we had something to add to climate change'?
I had an entry in the 2015 hackaday prize that made finals, I had to drop out but I've been working on it ever since. I'm trying to reduce CO2 by proving its effectiveness in food production for horticulture and creating a bigger market demand for it.
Impossible Labs extends from the key idea "what can technologists do about climate change"? We started looking around and there are a lot of innovators working in food, air, energy, and water -- people having the time of their life building crazy amazing stuff. They're not well connected together, and there's not funding for these types of projects -- so that's something we want to help with.so
Just so we're all on the same page, how is climate change defined from a scientific perspective?
Recently we've narrowed our focus onto removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, called Project 2050 (can share more on that)
I am trying to use 1500-2000 pm in a 15 cubic foot pod year round with plants.
@Lutetium A key factor of climate change as increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The reason it matters is it causes the planet to retain more heat and other side effects.
@sadhana could you add your project link to the sheet? https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1oPgGZfXNQLfmmGBRXRTaWUqW5D1KMzybgqBiopIV5xk/edit#gid=0
@Tito Jankowski can you share more about Project 2050?
Yes, I havent updated it here in a while though. I plan on doing a post soon with the last 2 years of work.
Tito Jankowski @Lutetium Project 2050 is a goal to return earth's atmosphere to 300 parts per million of carbon dioxide by 2050. Impossible Labs role is find the entrepreneurs and startups working on solutions, and connect them to support, funding, and opportunities to scale. Would love to hear from anyone working on removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
What kinds of projects/ methods have you come across?
And... you're located in San Francisco, right? What areas of the world are people tackling this problem in?
Well, Blue Planet in Los Gatos.
yes, have lots of projects to share!
A frequent question about Project 2050 is --- "ok, 300 parts per million, where are we today?"
I think we hit 400 recently? :(
where are we? and what does that mean practically?
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been measured every hour since 1975. But the data isn't super accessible. So an international group of programmers and designers launched a new project a few weeks ago, an API to connect to NOAA's carbon dioxide data and make it more accessible
what data can you get from the API?
as of June 26th we're at 408.76 parts per million of carbon dioxide
Holy *****! 408!
I'm in Denver.
@Tito Jankowski I'm located in Hawaii. How much does location come into play when getting CO2 readings?
@Lutetium all the work is open source on Github: http://github.com/giving-a-fuck-about-climate-change it's an incredible team, lead developer Luke Murphy is in Ireland, several programmers from Germany, designer and marketer in Hawaii
@Lutetium it's a great example I think of how hackers and programmers can get on board. This data was online for over a decade. But the people who were looking at it, no one thought to build an API or nice front-end. It took this open source group to build it.
yeah that looks good
also is the data coming from Hawaii?
@Jeff Mori question about location)(back to
Are you using Scripps CO2 information- Mauna Loa observatory ?
@Jeff Mori@Lutetium the NOAA data used by the open climate API uses the "gold standard" location from NOAA's monitoring station on Mauna Loa, Hawaii actually. Its been used by NOAA scientists since 1975 as a stable place to monitor carbon dioxide.
@Rebecca E. Skinner yes, Mauna Loa
Is there other accessible data in other parts of the world?
so that's useful because now we know where we're at for Project 2050
@Lutetium yes there are other datasets, including monitored by NOAA. The past 50 years of carbon dioxide monitoring proved we need to take action. This was accomplished with daily measurements drawing a trend over decades.
I think to reduce CO2 you need to use co2, there are a few things co2 is useful for
horticultural is one I highlighted. another would possible be graphene synthesis, especially if it can free oxygen in the process.
what is graphene synthesis
Climeworks role is simple -- suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere using big fans :) They just opened their first plant in Switzerland
where do they put it once sucked out of the atmosphere?
Tito have you looked into Pacific Green Technologies in San Jose- they use large industrial scrubbers to clean flue gas. I think they're approaching it as pollutants rather than as GHG.
@Lutetium Ultimately the carbon dioxide needs to be taken out of the atmosphere permanently. In Climeworks case, they're using the carbon dioxide from the first installation for agriculture, growing vegetables. Carbon dioxide is used in greenhouses to help grow food: http://www.climeworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/02_PR-Climeworks-DAC-Plant-Case-Study.pdf
we already have a big annual seasonal variation of co2 due to foliage fall. If we could trap it it would make a dent on the curve... if you burn in a vacuum with solar light your garbage and seasonal green matter you get coal and steam if you then bury the coal it deep you would be, effectively, reburying coal and trapping C from becoming CO2. Developing a vacuum solar oven for everyhome could bring that approach to everybody. What are your opinions on this approach?
@Lutetium another method to remove carbon is proposed by BioCarbon Engineering. They're designing a drone to plant trees, basically shooting tree pods from a quad-rotor drone -- www.biocarbonengineering.com
@Lutetium ok time for sheet questions
hi, I just added a question to the end of the list (reforestation)
@Andre Esteves that looks super cool! In our research we've come across a lot of people interested in that topic -- generally called biochar, taking plants, burning them, and either using what's left as fertilizer in the soil (where it doesn't go back into the atmosphere) or burying it
@Andre Esteves I encourage you to build a prototype to make it easy for people. Or maybe it's industrial sized? Ultimately I would like to be able to say "Biochar is the #B ranked solution, A is better, but C is worse", but I'm not there yet with my understanding. Check out Project Drawdown, they're working to rank different solutions http://www.drawdown.org/
How to implement the burning of the plants but avoid polluting air at same time (particulate matter causes asthma, exacerbates cardiovascular illness)
Biochar is getting a bad rap as a marketing ploy. I don't defend using char as fertilizer because carbon then reenters the lifecycle. It will only work if you deeply sequester carbon.
how do you deeply sequester carbon?
@Andre Esteves i hear ya, I haven't studied it thoroughly but my understanding is soil is a living system and can store carbon similar to how trees do
I hear a big cause of greenhouse gases is actually rotting food as well, reducing food waste and other sewage and organic waste could help.
@Lutetium bury it or put it in the ground is one idea
@Lutetium what's my next question? saw a lot go by :)
@sadhana yea i'm curious about that too!
Thats one of the goals for my farming project. keep the produce alive, nstead of harvesting it
@Rebecca E. Skinner that's true! A compost-burning-prototype couldn't be smoking all over the place :)
@sadhana I met with a guy named Tom Chi, one of the co-founders of Google X. He's working with BioCarbon Engineering, Their plan is to plant 900 BILLION trees using their drones to remove carbon dioxide
these numbers are mind boggling
@Bhavesh Kakwani looking ahead to your question, I think engineers and technologists like us will kick off a revolution in climate change. We're currently not really involved in the climate stuff.
900 billion,? sounds like another amazon forest.
Compost burning just caused a major health crisis in Dehli during first week of November ! Sounds like the world desperately needs better cheap local methods of garbge/ compost recycling
@Bhavesh Kakwani :: What are the main things that need to be hacked? We have often heard that the "technology exists, it just needs to be distributed". So is it the societal aspects of climate change then that need to be hacked?I'll put the next question is from
But Tito, I guess you answered it?
I think I saw the tree planting drones
@Bhavesh Kakwani near the beginning of our journey, a hedge fund manager told us "Climate Change is the biggest financial opportunity civilization has ever seen". I like to paraphrase that as "Climate Change will create the first Trillionaire". Huge opening for entrepreneurs.
definitely a great idea. 400 PPM seems like alot but plants can use more.
@Brian McEvoy :: If we can stop actively damaging the world, will dangerous characteristics return to safe levels or do we need to make an effort to reverse the damage that has been done?Next question is from
sadhana The catch is that they need more light for the mechanism to kick in.
The ocean is a natural carnbon sink, but as it acdifies it has its own climate change. I wonder if it would be easier to process the warter that already passes thru all these desalination plants and create a calcium carbonate sequestration of the carbonic acid
@mosaicmerc Yesterday I just heard about a water engineer who built a lab in his garage to test out new technologies for water treatment. Maybe you could build such a lab to test this idea?
@Tito Jankowski , so it's not enough to just quit making a mess, we have to clean up our mess too.
Well with the infrastructure in place given all the cooling water used from the sea for many ammonia , methanol and ura plants as well as desal. it might have some merit
@Brian McEvoy yes, 300 parts per million is the goal
@Brian McEvoy by 2050
That's what blue planet does. They did a presentation at the San Francisco Public Works department explaining their cleaning of flue gas. They have a dozen projects to create limestone as a carbon sink.
^ this is a newer model
@Brian McEvoy I like this image from wikipedia back to 400k years ago, shows how out of wack 400+ parts per million is https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1c/Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png/380px-Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png
Im using a rpi zero webserver controlling an arduino mega and various sensors
So the process would be , sequester the carbon from the seawater used for desalination and colling (pron trillions of galls worldwide) and allow the sea to pull the co2 from the atmosphere...
@Les Hall :: How does reforestation factor into CO2 reduction? about 8 or 10 years ago I imgined railroad shipment of agricultural waste products to giant compost piles on the edges of desserts, especially Egypt and the like where there once was forest. We could do reforestation on a grand scale and maybe put a good sized dent in the problem perhaps. Your perspective?Last question is from
@Les Hall On a small scale reforestation certainly sounds good. I'm curious about how much it can scale though. We've got a lot of extra carbon in the atmosphere.
sec nurse just walked in
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Thank you Tito and all participants !
Lutetium Awesome to have those links
I dont think electric vehicles have been mentioned as an improvement, that mostly needs the motor/battery technology to be more easily manufactured though.
@Tito Jankowski and Matthew Eshed!Thank you
http://impossiblelabs.io If you're in San Francisco, join the Climate Change Plus Tech meetup group: https://www.meetup.com/climate-change-plus-tech And check out Manylabs for more hackers, scientists, and inventors working on climate change and open science projects: https://www.meetup.com/manylabs-workspaceStay in touch from the signup on our website:
back. I don't really know how well reforestation scales up, but the planet is (or should be) largely covered with vegetation of one sort or another, so i figure it's a natural (pun intended :). Also I feel that technology does have it's role, however we are always looking for tech solutions when often mother nature has the best plan. thoughts?