Scientists Just Pulled Carbon Dioxide Out of the Air and Turned It Back Into Coal

Written by on March 2, 2019 in Eco-Friendly, Environment, Environmental Hazards with 0 Comments

Image Credit: The Mind Unleashed

 

By Elias Marat | The Mind Unleashed

 

Carbon dioxide emissions have been wreaking havoc on the planet in recent years, as evidenced by erratic weather patterns and climate shifts that are sweeping a growing number of regions toward unlivable conditions.

Yet a new study suggests that there may exist a way for us to literally pull CO2 from the atmosphere and transform it back into solid coal. The discovery, made by a group of researchers in Australia, may pave the way for our fight against rising greenhouse gas levels and finally tip the balance toward attaining negative carbon emissions in human society and industry.

The study, published in Nature Communications journal, claims that the researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have found a new way to “safely and permanently” remove CO2 from the air and convert it into a coal-like substance of solid carbon flakes that would be easily and securely stored.

The method involves dissolving CO2 into beakers containing electrolyte liquids, before small amounts of a liquid metal catalyst are added, then charging the mixture with an electrical current that acts as a catalyst, converting the carbon dioxide into solids. The flakes naturally detach from the liquid metal, allowing for the solid to be continuously produced.

In a statement, RMIT researcher Dr. Torben Daeneke noted that the discovery represented a “crucial first step to delivering solid storage of carbon.” The scientist explained:


“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. To date, CO2 has only been converted into a solid at extremely high temperatures, making it industrially unviable.”

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