In a new development, Australian researchers have developed a smart and super-efficient new way to harness CO2 and convert it into solid carbon, and help the decarbonisation of heavy CO2 emitting industries.
The technology developed by researchers at RMIT University is designed to be easily integrated into existing industrial processes.
In fact, for heavy industries such as cement and steel, decarbonisation is a tremendous technical challenge that are not only energy-intensive, but also discharge CO2 directly as part of the production process.
Using the new technology, it provides a pathway for instantly converting CO2 the same time it is produced and sealing it permanently in a solid state to keep it out of the atmosphere.
The study is published in Energy & Environmental Science.
The technology is built on an earlier work that used liquid metals as catalyst, stated the co-lead researcher of the study.
Importantly, the new method harnesses the strength of liquid metals but the design has been altered for smoother integration into standard industrial processes, added the researcher.
The new technology is simple to scale up, is radically more efficient and can break down CO2 to carbon instantly.
The new technology is expected to be a significant new tool in the push toward decarbonisation. This would help industries and governments to keep to their climate commitments, and lead to close to net zero CO2 emissions.
In order to take the technology forward, its makers have filed a provisional patent application and have signed an agreement with ABR- am Australian environmental technology company. The company is engaged in commercializing technologies to decarbonize steel and cement manufacturing industries.
Meanwhile, the team is keen to hear from other environment technology companies of challenges faced for difficult to decarbonize industries, and examine other potential applications of the technology.