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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Greenbox

The world's richest corporations and finest minds spend billions trying to solve the problem of carbon emissions, but three fishing buddies in North Wales think they've cracked it. They have developed a box that they say can be fixed underneath a car, in place of the exhaust, to trap the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming - including carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide - and emit mostly water vapour.

The gases can be processed to create a biofuel using genetically modified algae. Dubbed "Greenbox", the technology developed by organic chemist Derek Palmer and engineers Ian Houston and John Jones could, they say, be used for cars, buses, trucks and even buildings and heavy industry. The three, who stumbled across the idea while experimenting with carbon dioxide to help boost algae growth for fish farming, have set up a company called Maes Anturio Limited, which translates from Welsh as Field Adventure.

They are seeking extra risk capital either from government or industry. The only emissions they are not sure their box can handle are those from aviation. If the system takes off, drivers with a Greenbox would replace it when they fill up their cars and it would go to a bioreactor to be emptied. The inventors say they have spent nearly $400,000 over two years developing the box. The trio won't show anyone - not even their wives - what's inside the box.

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