Shoes without a footprint made from recycled CO2

Obviously, these shoes do not make your footsteps undetectable, so the spies amongst you may be disappointed, but because the way they are made leaves no carbon footprint on the environment, there is still reason to be excited. In fact, these shoes, developed by energy company NRG and 10xBeta, are made with recycled CO2.

The shoes look like ordinary sneakers, but they consist for about 75 per cent of gaseous waste, or effluent, captured from power plants. These emissions captured and cooled, before carbon dioxide is separated out. This extraction then functions as the base of chemical that is used to create a polymer that forms the shoes’ supportive foam. The rest of the materials are not made of recycled CO2, but ideally, the carbon that is released in the manufacturing of the shoes could also be turned into material as well.

How exactly the Shoe Without A Footprint, as the shoes are called, are made is undisclosed, since the process is patented. It does not seem that the sneakers will become commercially available for the public anytime soon, though, as there are only five pairs in existence.

The project was mainly meant to inspire contestants of the Carbon XPrize competition, the aim of which is to find new ways to turn CO2 into products people could use. The competition was launched in 2015. In October this year, fifteen semi-finalists will be announced, and the winner in March 2020. We will be looking forward to what they can do with carbon dioxide.

Photos: NRG