Science and Tech
Novel system can produce electricity, fuel from CO2
Seoul, Jan. 20 (PTI): Scientists have developed a system that can produce electricity and hydrogen fuel from carbon dioxide — the main contributor of global warming.
The Hybrid Na-CO2 system can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen through efficient carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion with stable operation for over 1,000 hours, researchers said.
“Carbon capture, utilisation, and sequestration (CCUS) technologies have recently received a great deal of attention for providing a pathway in dealing with global climate change,” said Guntae Kim, from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea.
“The key to that technology is the easy conversion of chemically stable CO2 molecules to other materials. Our new system has solved this problem with CO2 dissolution mechanism,” said Kim.
Much of human CO2 emissions are absorbed by the ocean and turned into acidity. The researchers focused on this phenomenon and came up with the idea of melting CO2 into water to induce an electrochemical reaction.
If acidity increases, the number of protons increases, which in turn increases the power to attract electrons. If a battery system is created based on this phenomenon, electricity can be produced by removing CO2.
“This hybrid Na-CO2 cell, which adopts efficient CCUS technologies, not only utilises CO2 as the resource for generating electrical energy but also produces the clean energy source, hydrogen,” said Jeongwon Kim from UNIST.
In particular, this system has shown stability to the point of operating for more than 1,000 hours without damage to electrodes. The system can be applied to remove CO2 by inducing voluntary chemical reactions.
“This research will lead to more derived research and will be able to produce H2 and electricity more effectively when electrolytes, separator, system design, and electrocatalysts are improved,” said Kim.