Say this five times fast: Counter-Rotating-Ring Receiver/Reactor/Recuperator. OK, so it doesn't quite roll off the tongue, but this new device, which its designers wisely refer to as CR5, could help solve our planet's carbon dioxide problem.
The device, developed at Sandia National Labs as part of the Sunshine to Petrol project, uses sunlight and steam to neutralize carbon dioxide instead of spewing the stuff up into the atmosphere. The process would produce methanol, which could be used for fuel. The downer? The engineers say it could be a decade or more before the device is available.—Gregory Mone
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.