CO2 Reduction Technology to Develop as Researchers Create a way to Decarbonize Heavy Industries

  • Analysis
  • 27-January-2022

Decarbonization is a vast technical problem for heavy industries like cement and steel. This is because they are energy-intensive and emit CO2 directly throughout the manufacturing process.

A research team has created an approach to help progress the decarbonization of heavy industries. The sophisticated and super-efficient system can trap carbon dioxide and turn it into solid carbon. The carbon dioxide utilization technique could contribute immensely towards CO2 Reduction Technology as it has been designed to work seamlessly with existing industrial processes.

The new technology works by transforming carbon dioxide as it is produced. It then permanently freeze it in a solid-state, preventing CO2 from entering the environment.

The new approach still uses liquid metals, but the design has been altered for easier integration into normal industrial processes. The new technology is considerably more efficient and can instantly break down CO2 to carbon, making it easier to scale up.

Thermal chemistry processes prevalent in the industry were employed to develop the new CCS technology.

In the " bubble column " process, the liquid metal is heated to roughly 100-120C. Carbon dioxide is pumped into the liquid metal, causing gas bubbles to rise like champagne bubbles. The gas molecule splits up into flakes of solid carbon as the bubbles flow through the liquid metal, and the reaction takes only a fraction of a second.

The team hopes this could be an essential new tool pushing decarbonization. Further, the idea could also facilitate industries and governments to deliver on their climate commitments and bring the world radically closer to net zero.

CCS technologies have generally focused on compressing the gas into a liquid and injecting it underground. However, this poses considerable engineering hurdles as well as environmental considerations. CCS has also been chastised for being too costly and energy-intensive to be widely adopted. Thus, what is needed are innovative technology solutions and successful research-industry collaborations to accelerate the sustainable industrial revolution and the zero-carbon economy.

CO2 is turned into a solid, which reduces the chance of leakage and ensures its storage indefinitely. In addition, because the method does not necessitate incredibly high temperatures, renewable energy might be employed to power the process.

The proof-of-concept will be scaled up to a modularized prototype the size of a shipping container as the next step in the research.

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