New efficient technology to capture and reuse CO2 from industrial emissions

Greenhouse gases play a vital role in trapping heat in our atmosphere, without which our planet would be a frozen wasteland. The concentration of greenhouse gases has been on a steady rise since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century. 

Globally generation of electricity and heat accounts for almost 31% of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide accounts for nearly 80% of such emissions. Conventional methods today use a high temperature of over 100 C to capture this CO2, which in itself consumes a significant amount of energy of about 3 to 4 Giga Joules per tonne of CO2. A group of researchers at Nagoya University, led by Assistant Professor Hiroshi Machida, made a breakthrough with their new H2 stripping regeneration technology that requires much less energy to capture carbon dioxide than conventional methods.  

Read Also: Record high atmospheric CO2 in spite of COVID-19 related shutdowns

Outline of process using “H2 stripping regeneration technology” Credit: Nagoya University

In conventional methods to synthesize fuels and other starting materials, pure CO2 is collected from the exhaust gases and mixed with hydrogen gas after the desorption cycle and before a reduction reaction can begin. In the new H2 stripping regeneration technology, hydrogen gas is added to the desorber’s bottom during the desorption cycle of CO2. As a result, the partial pressure of CO2 reduces and promotes regeneration and a lower regeneration temperature. 

The team also has developed a phase-separation solvent which combined with their H2 Regeneration Technology, can become the world’s highest energy-saving technology to capture CO2. This technology is expected to aid in the synthesis of industrial starting materials such as methane, methanol, gasoline, etc., from industrial exhaust gases promoting carbon recycling. Carbon recycling will help reduce global warming by re-using the CO2, which would otherwise be let into the atmosphere. 

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