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article imageNew step taken towards smart carbon capture

By Tim Sandle     Dec 8, 2018 in Environment
Tokyo - Researchers from Japan have achieved the process of direct electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide. This success raises hopes of developing a process for smart carbon capture.
Scientists working the Tokyo Institute of Technology have put forward a new means to achieve carbon capture using a rhenium-based electrocatalytic system. This innovation appears capable of reducing low-concentration carbon dioxide; something that can be achieved with high selectivity and durability.
What is significant about the development is that the technology has the potential to allow for the direct utilization of carbon dioxide in exhaust gases drawn from heavy industries, thereby helping to reduce the impact of global warming. The areas of greatest concern are India and China. Currently, China is the largest producer of ammonia, cement, iron and steel, and methanol.
For example, a new report examining greenhouse gas emissions from cement production states that these emissions need to be reduced considerably if the world is to meet the climate change goals set out in the Paris Agreement. As well as global warming, the innovation also helps with energy efficiency.
As part of the solution, the researchers have shown how the application of a rhenium-based catalyst can reduce low-concentrations of carbon dioxide in the presence of a chemical called triethanolamine (TEOA).
Triethanolamine is a viscous organic compound that is both a tertiary amine and a triol. A triol is a molecule with three alcohol groups.
By running a series of experiments designed to assess electrocatalytic activity, the scientists discovered that at a carbon dioxide concentration of 1 percent, the rhenium-based catalyst displayed a strong selectivity (towards carbon monoxide formation). This was due to the efficient insertion of carbon dioxide into the rhenium-oxygen bond and this is the primary step required for carbon dioxide ‘clean-up’. The researchers are currently evaluating how to scale-up the technology.
The new development has been reported to the journal Chemical Science. The research paper is called “Electrocatalytic reduction of low concentration CO2.”
More about Carbon capture, carbon neutr, catalyst, Carbon dioxide
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