Carbon dioxide can be recycled into electricity and hydrogen fuel

If we want to avoid predictable in this century the rise in global temperatures more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, not enough to cut carbon emissions — we also need to make all efforts in order to reduce the existing stock of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Inspired by the role of the ocean as a natural carbon sink, scientists from the Korean National Institute of science and technology of Ulsan (UNIST), in cooperation with experts from Georgia Institute of Technology (USA) developed a new filtration system, which absorbs CO2 and produces electricity from it and suitable for the use of hydrogen fuel.

A new installation of Hybrid Na-CO2 System is essentially a large liquid battery. The system consists of an anode of metallic sodium, which is placed in an organic electrolyte, and cathode, placed in a special aqueous solution. Two liquids separated by a membrane sodium Super Ionic Conductor (NASICON).


The recycling scheme CO2 electricity and hydrogen fuel

When in aqueous solution is the stock of CO2, it reacts with the cathode, causing the solution in the tank is oxidized, which in turn leads to the generation of electricity and hydrogen production. Scientists say that in the course of testing the efficiency of converting CO2 into useful products amounted to 50 percent, and the system was quite stable and worked more than 1,000 hours at full load without any damage to the electrodes. Unlike other recycling systems, the developers say, they do not produce any harmful emissions. The remaining CO2 in the tank settles out and is removed from the electrolyte in the form of old baking soda.

“Capture, use and storage of carbon have recently attracted increasing attention, because they have the potential to help us cope with global warming. The key to these technologies is a simple transformation of chemically stable molecules of CO2 to other materials. Our new system relies on the mechanism of dissolution of CO2,” says Professor Gantt Kim, lead author of the study, which was published in the journal iScience.

Developed by engineers and scientists installing a Hybrid Na-CO2 System – not only the concept of the system for collection, storage and perenolde of carbon dioxide, but it is unclear if these technologies become practical on a large scale to have a significant impact on the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere. For example, the technology of direct capture of carbon dioxide, was developed by company Climeworks, it looks at the moment, one of the most promising. But when you consider that it is capable of processing only 150 tons of CO2 in annual emissions in the amount of 40 billion tons, it all looks like an attempt to bail water from a sinking ship in the usual mug.

And all the developers of Hybrid Na-CO2 System say that their system has scope for improvement of any component. And the “icing on the cake” is the possibility of producing electricity and hydrogen fuel, which can be used, for example, in hydrogen transport.

To discuss the development of South Korean and American scientists in our Telegram chat.

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