Imagine if we could take the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by all those polluting old power stations, turn it back into coal and bury it in the ground.
Thanks to researchers from UNSW Sydney and RMIT University, maybe we can.
They’ve discovered an amazing new method to convert CO2 back into a solid material – essentially coal.
And what’s revolutionary about their approach is it all happens at room temperature.
Existing methods for converting CO2 require extremely high temperatures, making them impractical, especially on a large scale.
But Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh says the UNSW method could provide real solutions to global warming.
“The most important thing is we can close the loop for CO2,” he says.
“From coal to CO2 and back to coal again, at room temperature and at low consumed energy – this is something we could only dream of doing before, but no one knew how.”
The method works by dissolving carbon dioxide in electrolyte liquid and a small amount of the liquid metal, which is then charged with an electrical current.
The CO2 converts into solid flakes of carbon, which are naturally detached from the electrode and collected.
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