Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Carbon Dioxide Captured Directly From Air With Simple Machine

In research conducted at the U of C, Keith and a team of researchers showed it is possible to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) – the main greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming – using a relatively simple machine that can capture the trace amount of CO2 present in the air at any place on the planet.

Keith and his team showed they could capture CO2 directly from the air with less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide. Their custom-built tower was able to capture the equivalent of about 20 tonnes per year of CO2 on a single square metre of scrubbing material – the average amount of emissions that one person produces each year in the North American-wide economy.

"This means that if you used electricity from a coal-fired power plant, for every unit of electricity you used to operate the capture machine, you'd be capturing 10 times as much CO2 as the power plant emitted making that much electricity," Keith says.
More details here.

I would like to understand more about what happens to the CO2 after capture, and what the economics of this device are. If it could sequester all the CO2 of a coal power plant and only increase the cost by 10%, this would be very useful.

via Science Daily

Update: This doc puts the cost at $22 per ton of CO2 (with a range of $12.8-43.8). At 2 lbs of CO2 per kWh of coal fired power, this would add 2.2¢ per kWh to the price, likely making coal + CO2 sequestering cheaper than other forms of carbon free renewable energy.


Neerav said...

Now all efforts in alternative fuel will start to shift towards creating energy out of CO2.

Fat Knowledge said...


I don't know about creating energy out of CO2. This process still requires additional energy to get the CO2. But, I do see it as being possible to create synthetic gasoline replacements and other liquid fuels from CO2 out of the air and clean renewable energy.

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