Posts Tagged ‘CO2’

Carbon Sciences Turns CO2 Into Fuel

Monday, October 13th, 2008

The company Carbon Sciences has developed a low-cost way to turn regular CO2 back into the basic building blocks of hydrocarbons.  Turning CO2 to fuel is not new, however the process consumes more energy than it gives off because they either require high temperature or high pressure.

The key to our CO2-to-Fuel approach lies in a proprietary multi-step biocatalytic process. Instead of using expensive inorganic catalysts, such as zinc, gold or zeolite, with traditional catalytic chemical processes, the Carbon Sciences process uses inexpensive, renewable biomolecules to catalyze certain chemical reactions required to transform CO2 into basic hydrocarbon building blocks. Of greatest significance, our process occurs at low temperature and low pressure, thereby requiring far less energy than other approaches.

While this may not be an ultimate solution for our energy needs, it buys us time and gives us a bridge until we can find a more comprehensive solution.

via inhabitat

Cleaning the Air

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Research says that about 50% of the CO2 produced is not from big powerplants or other stationary sources.  It is from diffuse sources located in cars, airplanes, and air conditioning units.  That is why it is so difficult to capture CO2 and scientists have been coming up with ways to “scrub” the CO2 out of the air.

Reasearchers from the University of Calgary have come up with a way to pull the CO2 out of the air using air scrubbing towers.  The system takes the CO2 and reacts it with sodium hydroxide, and the innovative part is that after a few more chemical processes, the sodium hydroxide is recovered again.  The end result is the CO2 can be piped away and the sodium hydroxide is reacted with more CO2 in the air.

With their current design, according to the university, they can capture around a ton of carbon dioxide for less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity. At that rate, for every bit of electricity used to run the scrubber, you’re actually capturing ten times as much CO2 as was released to create that electricity in the first place. That means that in terms of emissions, it is efficient… but financially, not-so-much-so. As far as the researchers have reported, the technology is expensive, and not near ready for large-scale development yet. But, it could potentially fill a unique role, taking on that 50 percent of diffuse CO2 emissions that no smokestack extractors will ever be able to keep out of the skies.

Hopefully in the future, we will not need this technology, but in the mean time, it looks like a good option.

via popsci