A team of researchers was recently successful in developing a new method of carbon capturing, the technology meant for capturing carbon dioxide before its reaches the atmosphere. The team has come up with an aluminum/carbon dioxide power cell that can easily trap CO2 and generate power and a carbon byproduct.
At present, the usual systems of carbon capturing target the emissions hidden in solid or liquids that can be depressurized or heated to give out CO2. The obtained gas is then compressed for further industrial use and sent to different facilities. The team points out the inefficiency of these processes. According to researcher Lynden Archer, the engineering professor at the Cornell University, “One of the roadblocks to adopting current CO2 capture technology in electric power plants is that the regeneration of the fluids used for capturing CO2 utilize as much as 25 percent of the energy output of the plant. This seriously limits the commercial viability of such technology. Additionally, the captured CO2 must be transported to sites where it can be sequestered or reused, which requires new infrastructure.”
The new system developed by this team can bring a paradigm shift as per its makers. Archer adds, “The fact that we’ve designed a carbon capture technology that also generates electricity is, in and of itself, important,” So exactly, how much power are we discussing here. The team says that the electrochemical cell is capable of producing up to 13 ampere hours per gram of carbon along with a discharge potential of some 1.4Volts. As per these researchers, the volume of energy emitted from this system is comparable with that of the highest level energy-density battery systems. The cell here uses aluminum as anode along with a combination of carbon dioxide and oxygen in form of active ingredients constituting the cathode. Archer explains, “A process able to convert CO2 into a more reactive molecule such as an oxalate that contains two carbons opens up a cascade of reaction processes that can be used to synthesize a variety of products.”