With regard to carbon capture and storage, researchers have been creative in turning carbon dioxide into a material ranging from CO to oxalic acid for rare earth transformation. Now, it seems like they are returning to its source to turn it into solid charcoal.
In a world first, a research team led by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, has developed a new technique for converting CO2 in carbon particles, reducing pollution by eliminating greenhouse gases from our environment.
The solution offers a more viable approach than most current carbon capture and storage systems that compress CO2 in liquid form for the purpose of injecting it underground. These approaches have many technical and security problems and are also very expensive.
"Although we can not literally go back in time, converting carbon dioxide back into coal and burying it in the ground, it's a bit like rewinding the clock of emissions," he said. Dr. Torben Daeneke, RMIT researcher and a DECRA Fellow from the Australian Research Council.
"To date, CO2 has been converted to a solid only at extremely high temperatures, which makes it industrially unsustainable.
The new technique is electrochemical. It consists of a liquid metal catalyst specifically designed to extract carbon dioxide from the gas slowly converted into solid carbon flakes.
"By using liquid metals as a catalyst, we have shown that it is possible to reconvert the gas to carbon at room temperature, according to an efficient and scalable process," Daeneke said.
"While it is necessary to continue research, it is a crucial first step in ensuring solid carbon storage."
Better yet, the researchers say that the carbon produced could also be used as an electrode.
"One of the benefits of the process is that the carbon can hold an electrical charge, becoming a supercapacitor, so that it could potentially be used as a component in future vehicles," said L & # 39; lead author, Dorna Esrafilzade, associate researcher of the Vice Chancellor. at the RMIT engineering school.
"The process also produces synthetic fuel as a by-product, which could also have industrial applications."
The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.