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Home  > Publications  > Blog  > Can TiO2 particles save the planet?

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Can TiO2 particles save the planet?

Thursday, 24 May 2012 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

Dispersing fine light-scattering particles into the upper atmosphere could help to combat climate change, a new geo-engineering concept promises. The technology advocates dispersing benign titanium dioxide particles as used in paint, inks and sunscreens into the stratosphere to deflect the sun’s rays.

The creative mind behind this idea wants this concept to be researched as an insurance policy to cope with possible catastrophic effects of global warming if CO2 emissions cannot be reduced fast enough. The concept mimics the earth-cooling effects of large volcanic eruptions, which is explained here.

This all sounds downright bizarre – using titanium dioxide to save the planet? The efforts involved seem to me extremely high, and so do the costs. Titanium dioxide is suggested in the concept for obvious reasons. On the other hand, we must not forget the recent supply shortages and cost explosions that have led to increased R+D efforts regarding a more efficient use or even substitution of TiO2.

Theory and practice

So I guess, this concept could work – in theory. But in practice? Which government would initiate such a concept? Who would pay for the costs? Where would you find the incredible amount of TiO2 needed to make the concept work?

Nevertheless, the inventor of this concept is a respectable scientist with good government contacts, and his vision seems to be well-considered, so I’m curious what we’ll hear about this geo-engineering concept in a few years from now.

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