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New Carbon Capture Technology

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 11:36AM

While there are many substances that can affect the climate, carbon dioxide is the most discussed. This material is produced from the combustion systems we use to drive our cars, heat our homes, cook our food, and power much of our world, so with this many sources, it makes sense that people are trying to capture it. Now researchers at the University of Melbourne have developed a new technology for capturing carbon dioxide that could prove extremely useful in reducing levels.

A somewhat obvious way to capture carbon dioxide from the air is with a sieve that has holes just big enough to let that gas through, and not others. The catch is that smaller gases can also get through, which means a purification process is needed to isolate the carbon dioxide. What the researchers have done is devise a new sieve that has holes that act like trap doors. Once the carbon dioxide gas slips through, the hole shuts and captures it.

This ability to more selectively filter carbon dioxide could prove very useful for not only preventing it from entering the atmosphere, but also to provide new fuels. With carbon dioxide as one of the fuels, reactions can be started to reverse the combustion reaction and generate gasoline, methane, or some other hydrocarbon fuel. Currently such methods are not very economical, but with technology like this, that could change.

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Guest comment
Allan on November 9, 2012 03:18PM
Gas producers eg Santos separate CO2 out of the gas stream as part of their refining process. Despite being CO2 rich,if not virtually pure, this is discharged directly to the atmosphere in alarming quantities. Not revalatory news and certainly understood by the authors but worth pointing out that efforts to sequester this by product,by the producers, are not evident.
Guest comment
Daniel O'Connor - XENEX on November 9, 2012 04:51PM
THe Hewson technology in Western Australia is far superior. It costs less than the carbon credits to capture and can process more than 20 times the volumes and speed of ESP products. Capital costs are less than $50,000 per unit. About to go into field trials next year.....

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