Researchers find a way to covert CO2 into coal at room temperature

Accumulation of greenhouse gases in our environment has become a growing concern and even though there are solutions to curb the issue, they aren’t really economically viable. However, the recent study by Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology has brought some hope in this grim situation.

The researchers have found a way to transform the carbodioxide in the air into coal, at room temperature and without applying any pressure at all! This theory of carbon capturing was previously proposed but that required carbon in the air to be converted into liquid at high pressures first and then injected into the ground. “While we can’t literally turn back time, turning carbon dioxide back into coal and burying it back in the ground is a bit like rewinding the emissions clock,” shares RMIT researcher Dr. Torben Daeneke. But, alongside its pros, the method is dangerous as well as insanely expensive and hence it could never be implemented on a large scale.

But, this recent research changes the game forever by finding a liquid catalyst that helps in the conversion without the application of heat or pressure. They carried out the experiment by dissolving atmospheric CO2 in an electrolyte, in which metal liquid catalyst is already present. Electricity is then passed through it which causes the CO2 to turn into flaky coal.

“A side benefit of the process is that the carbon can hold electrical charge, becoming a super capacitor, so it could potentially be used as a component in future vehicles,” explains Dr. Dorna Esrafilzadeh, a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in RMIT’s School of Engineering.  “The process also produces synthetic fuel as a by-product, which could also have industrial applications.”

Thanks to this, we might just have a shot at a world without climate change, again!

h/t: My Modern Met

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