Direct Air Capture Technology with Hybrid Sorbent Makes Carbon Capturing More Efficient
Worldwide, scientists conclude that we need to construct carbon-capturing devices to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
Nevertheless, there will be many hurdles to starting this new industry in the coming decades, and the most significant challenge is figuring out how to make the technology more efficient.
Recent work by a research team from Lehigh University on “Direct Air Capture” (DAC) can make this process three times more productive.
DAC is a method of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Machines draw air from the atmosphere and pass through filters and sorbents to separate the carbon dioxide (CO2).
Then those filters are heated to release CO2, which will be stored underground or used in products as concentrated CO2.
Capturing concentrated CO2 is very easy, but our everyday CO2 in ordinary air is more diluted, so filtering out takes a lot of energy and money.
We currently have less than 20 functional direct air capture (DAC) plants worldwide, removing just thousands of tons of CO2 annually at a high cost. Now the concern is about how scalable and effective DAC technology will be despite its significant financial investment.
This new research may provide a helpful change in existing DAC plants by switching the machine’s ordinary material for capturing CO2, as most of the current DAC filtering process uses amine-based material made up of ammonia.
However, the research team added copper to an amine-based material, creating a new hybrid sorbent that can effectively filter out CO2 three times.
Moreover, this sorbent can now store CO2 in the ocean and underground. In a lab experiment, the CO2-saturated copper-amine substance converts the captured CO2 into an alkaline substance, so-called baking soda, when it comes in contact with seawater.
The Direct Air Captures technology integrated with the new hybrid sorbet can potentially change existing conditions of the ground.