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New Database for Carbon Capture Materials Created

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 01:05PM

With the need for cheap energy always growing it is either impossible or infeasible to keep up with demand while only building green power plants that utilize wind, solar, or hydrothermal. Potentially carbon capture systems can help with this problem, by allowing fossil fuel burning power plants to be made more environmentally friendly. The problem with this strategy though is how expensive using the carbon capture systems would be, and not just in materials.

The current carbon capture systems being tested utilize nitrogen-based amines, which are similar to ammonia. The emissions from the power plant pass through the liquid amines, which capture the carbon dioxide. The liquid is boiled to release the CO2 which is then compressed and pumped underground for permanent storage. The whole process however can take as much as 30% of a power plants output though, which means four plants, with carbon capture systems, would have to be built to generate the same amount of power as three without the carbon capture system.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, Rice University, Berkeley Lab, and the Electric Power Research Institute have created an advanced database for all carbon capture materials. This database will not only allow a researcher to find carbon capture materials others have found, but also test their own. Using a full model of a power plant and the processing power of GPUs, the database can test new materials to determine how effective they may be as a carbon capture material. This will save countless months as researchers will no longer have to synthesize new materials to test them. Also, by using GPUs instead of CPUs, the modeling of the materials has been accelerated from 10 days to 2 seconds.

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