Carbon dioxide can be processed into electricity and hydrogen fuel.

If we want to avoid the predictable already in thisFor centuries, the rise in world temperature by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, it is not enough just to reduce carbon dioxide emissions - we also need to make every effort to reduce the already available supply of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Inspired by the role of the ocean as an effective natural carbon sink, scientists from the South Korean National Institute of Science and Technology Ulsan (UNIST), in collaboration with experts from the Georgia Institute of Technology (USA), developed a new filtration system that absorbs CO2 and produces electricity and usable hydrogen fuel.

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

The scheme of processing CO2 into electricity and hydrogen fuel

When CO2 is supplied to an aqueous solution, itreacts with the cathode, causing the solution in the tank to oxidize, which in turn leads to the generation of electricity and the production of hydrogen. Scientists note that during the tests, the conversion efficiency of CO2 into useful products was 50 percent, and the system itself was quite stable and worked for more than 1000 hours in full load without any damage to the electrodes. Unlike other processing systems, the developers say, installing them at work does not produce any harmful emissions. The remaining CO2 in the tank is deposited and removed from the electrolyte in the form of old baking soda.

"Technology capture, use and storageCarbon has recently attracted increased attention because it has the potential to help us cope with global warming. The key to this technology is the simple conversion of chemically stable CO2 molecules to other materials. Our new system relies on the CO2 dissolution mechanism, ”commented Professor Guanta Kim, the lead author of the study, whose results were published in the journal iScience.

Developed by engineers and scientistsThe Hybrid Na-CO2 System is not the only concept for collecting, storing and repacking carbon dioxide, but it is not entirely clear whether these technologies can become practical enough on a large scale to have a significant effect on atmospheric CO2. For example, the direct carbon capture technology developed by Climeworks is currently one of the most promising. But if we consider that in a year it is capable of processing only 150 tons of CO2 with annual emissions of 40 billion tons into the atmosphere, then it all looks like an attempt to bail out water from a sinking ship with an ordinary mug.

Still, Hybrid Na-CO2 System developersnote that in their system there is room for improvement of any component. A "cherry on the cake" is the possibility of producing electricity and hydrogen fuel, which can be used, for example, in hydrogen transport.

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