I consider carbon capture as insurance for the planet. It's not enough anymore to be carbon neutral, we need to be carbon negative to undo damage that has been done to the environment over the past several decades. — Vaibhav Bahadur (VB), an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering's Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering
I consider carbon capture as insurance for the planet. It's not enough anymore to be carbon neutral, we need to be carbon negative to undo damage that has been done to the environment over the past several decades. — Vaibhav Bahadur (VB), an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering's Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering
Metals supercharge promising method to bury harmful carbon dioxide under the sea
There's a global race to reduce the amount of harmful gases in our atmosphere to slow down the pace of climate change, and one way to do that is through carbon capture and sequestration -- sucking carbon out of the air and burying it. At this point, however, we're capturing only a fraction of the carbon needed to make any kind of dent in climate change.

"I consider carbon capture as insurance for the planet," said Vaibhav Bahadur (VB), an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering's Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering and the lead author of a new paper on the research in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. "It's not enough anymore to be carbon neutral, we need to be carbon negative to undo damage that has been done to the environment over the past several decades."

These structures, known as hydrates, form when carbon dioxide is mixed with water at high pressure and low temperature. The water molecules re-orient themselves and act as cages that trap CO2 molecules.

But the process initiates very slowly -- it can take hours or even days to get the reaction started. The research team found that by adding magnesium to the reaction, hydrates formed 3,000 times faster than the quickest method in use today, as rapidly as one minute. This is the fastest hydrate formation pace ever documented.


"The state-of-the-art method today is to use chemicals to promote the reaction," Bahadur said. "It works, but it's slower, and these chemicals are expensive and not environmentally friendly."

The hydrates form in reactors. In practice, these reactors could be deployed to the ocean floor. Using existing carbon capture technology, CO2 would be plucked from the air and taken to the underwater reactors where the hydrates would grow. The stability of these hydrates reduces the threat of leaks present in other methods of carbon storage, such as injecting it as a gas into abandoned gas wells.
Read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210922155849.htm