Klaus Lackner’s work focuses on closing the carbon cycle by capturing carbon dioxide from the air through the use of “mechanical trees.” His device is currently being commercialized.
Lackner’s other research interests include carbon sequestration, carbon foot-printing, innovative energy and infrastructure systems and their scaling properties, the role of automation, robotics and mass-manufacturing in downscaling infrastructure systems, and energy and environmental policy.
Lackner, director of ASU’s Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, was the first person (in 1999) to suggest artificial capture of carbon dioxide from air as a way of reducing atmospheric carbon and lessening global warming.
Lackner is a professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and he was recognized for contributing to the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for the IPCC. His interest in self-replicating machine systems has been recognized by Discover Magazine as one of seven ideas that could change the world.