Researchers have developed a low-cost device that can selectively capture carbon dioxide gas while it charges. Then, when it discharges, the carbon dioxide can be released in a controlled way and collected to be reused or disposed of responsibly, the University of Cambridge said in a press release. The device has been described in the journal Nanoscale.
The supercapacitor device, which is similar to a rechargeable battery, is the size of a coin, and is made in part from sustainable materials including coconut shells and seawater. The University of Cambridge said the supercapacitor could help power carbon capture and storage technologies at much lower cost. The most advanced carbon capture technologies currently require large amounts of energy and are expensive.
The supercapacitor consists of two electrodes of positive and negative charge. The team tried alternating from a negative to a positive voltage to extend the charging time from previous experiments. This improved the supercapacitor’s ability to capture carbon.
“We found that that by slowly alternating the current between the plates we can capture double the amount of carbon dioxide than before,” the release quoted lead researcher Dr Alexander Forse as saying. “The charging-discharging process of our supercapacitor potentially uses less energy than the amine heating process used in industry now. Our next questions will involve investigating the precise mechanisms of carbon dioxide capture and improving them. Then it will be a question of scaling up.”
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