The emissions of carbon dioxide were causing great harm on our planet in the last couple of years, as it was evidenced by the unpredictable weather patterns or climate shifts which sweep an increasing number of areas and regions towards the unlivable conditions.
However, one new study suggested that there is definitely a way of literally pulling CO2 from our atmosphere and then transform it into solid coal. This discovery, which was made by one team of researchers from Australia, can clear the way for people’s fight against the rising levels of greenhouse gas, and finally provide the balance towards attaining the negative emission of carbon dioxide in human industry and society.
This study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications, claimed that the RMIT University in Melbourne’s researchers have discovered an entirely new way of permanently and safely removing CO2 from our air, and then convert it in a substance of some solid carbon dioxide flakes like coal which are securely and easily going to be stored.
This new method includes dissolving the carbon dioxide into beakers which contain electrolyte liquids, prior to adding small amounts of some liquid metal catalyst, then the mixture is charged with an electrical current which acts as the catalyst, and which converts the CO2 into solids. Then, the flakes will detach from this liquid metal in a natural way, permitting for constant production of solid.
In one statement, the researcher in RMIT, named Dr. Torben Daeneke has noted that this discovery was the first crucial step towards delivering solid storage of CO2.
While we can’t literally turn back time, turning carbon dioxide back into coal and burying it back in the ground is a bit like rewinding the emissions clock. To date, CO2 has only been converted into a solid at extremely high temperatures, making it industrially unviable.
Some other techniques which are supported by certain transnational gas and oil corporations such as Shell also focused on the process of compressing CO2 into a liquid state, which has been after that injected underground into some porous reservoirs. A lot of people argued that these methods of storage, additionally to the fact that they require carbon taxes or heavy subsidies, and are costly, carried their risk of environmental catastrophe and leaks.
Although this transformation of CO2 in a solid happened earlier before, this will be the primary technique which does not require really high temperatures which can largely be provided only in laboratories.
The author who led the study, named Dr. Dorna Esrafilzadeh, has also noted that this CO2 which is produced on a daily basis may have some other uses besides as coal which has to be stored away.
Then, she explained:
A side benefit of the process is that the carbon can hold an electrical charge, becoming a supercapacitor, so it could potentially be used as a component in future vehicles. The process also produces synthetic fuel as a by-product, which could also have industrial applications.