The devise works much like a battery and absorbs the CO2 from the air that passes on its electrodes. And, unlike current carbon capture techniques, it works in a wide range of sizes ranges of concentrations. It could therefore be used to purify CO2 from flue gases from factories and power plants, or even extract it directly from the atmosphere.
The new MIT system contains two thin sheets of soft electrodes covered with two different chemical compounds. During charging, one of the compounds -- polyanthraquinone -- reacts with CO2 and incorporates the gas into the electrode. The idea is to let a stream of flue gas or air through the unit during charging to clean it of CO2. Once the electrode is saturated, the device would go into discharge mode and pure CO2 released could be compressed to be stored underground or used for the manufacture of fuels and other chemicals.
The system uses about one gigajoule of energy per ton of CO2 captured. Other existing methods can use up to 10 times more, according to Sahag Voskian, developer of the technology. (Source: MIT, Anthropocene Magazine, Tech Ballad, 1 Dec., 2019) Contact: MIT, Sahag Voskian, 617.253.4588, email@example.com, www.hattongroup.mit.edu/sahag-voskian
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