This new carbon-capture technology could be the main reason for reducing the amount of this dangerous greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have worked out a cheap and effective way to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into solid carbon particles. Most of the approaches are to compress the gas into the liquid and then remove the CO2 focus on it underground injection. There are significant challenges in doing this and the possibility is that it could eventually be leaked from storage sites.
Reported in Nature Communications, The new approach, May be more durable and prevent unwanted leaks. It is designed in such a way that it can be applied on a large scale and researchers have been able to solve previous problems encountered while trying to convert carbon dioxide into coal.
Co-author Dr Torben Daeneke said in a statement, “Although we can’t literally go back in time, it turns carbon dioxide back into coal and it’s like the emission clock that buries again in the ground.” “To date, CO2 has only been converted to energy at high temperatures, making it industrially inefficient. Significantly, using metal as a catalyst, we have shown that it is possible to convert gas into carbon at room temperature, a process that is efficient and scalable.”
The team used liquid alloys made of gallium, indium, tin, and cerium. The liquid metal was stored in a glass tube in a stroke flowing through it. Some water was added to the air in the glass tube. The authentic CO2 was sent to the glass tube due to the power cable going down. The team witnessed the formation of carbon flakes on the surface of the ditch. These can be removed to capture carbon continuously.
The only by-products of the process are carbon flakes and pure oxygen. For example, Carbon can simply be buried in the ground or used to make carbon fiber materials.
Lead author Dr. Dorna Esrafilzadeh explained, “One side advantage of the process is that carbon can hold electrical charges, becoming a supercapacitor, so it could potentially be used as a component of future vehicles.” The study is the first realistic step towards solid storage of atmospheric carbon. And it is desperately needed. Since the Industrial Revolution, we have injected 1.300 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, about one-third of which have been released since 2000.