Means to Convert CO2 back to Coal Discovered

Richard Stanley

Administrator
The following excerpt is from an article which discusses that an efficient means to convert CO2 back into solid carbon has been discovered. It uses liquid metal as a catalyst, and the resulting carbon supposedly is suitable to be transformed into supercapacitors. As such, I would think it is also in a suitable state for graphene production?

Researchers have used liquid metals to turn carbon dioxide back into solid coal, in a world-first breakthrough that could transform our approach to carbon capture and storage.

The research team led by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a new technique that can efficiently convert CO2 from a gas into solid particles of carbon.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, the research offers an alternative pathway for safely and permanently removing the greenhouse gas from our atmosphere. ...

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-02-climate-rewind-scientists-carbon-dioxide.html#jCp
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
This is very impressive. However (and perhaps this goes without saying): inevitably, this catalytic process must require more energy to convert the CO2 back to coal, than the energy obtained by burning an equivalent amount of coal in the first place. So, using this technology on a massive scale to revert the atmosphere back to its pre-industrial condition, will require some source of cheap, plentiful and clean energy. There's no such technology on the horizon, unless the nuclear fusion technology hypothesized in 'Haroche's Cockroach' turns out to be more than just a crazed conspiracy theory.
 

Richard Stanley

Administrator
However (and perhaps this goes without saying): inevitably, this catalytic process must require more energy to convert the CO2 back to coal, than the energy obtained by burning an equivalent amount of coal in the first place.
Well, I was going to say that but the Phys.org article does mention the process in terms of being useful for carbon storage. As such, I would have to think that the researchers involved would be very aware that the catalytic efficiency, not specified, would be workable in terms of the entire cycle involved. There are links to the primary articles provided in the Phys.org article.
 
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Richard Stanley

Administrator
This article discussed a means to convert CO2 into O2, and suggests it might become applicable for GW mitigation. The process was discovered as an investigation for producing breathable O2 in outer space and on other planets.

In the process one shoots CO2 at a gold sheet and the oxygen is magically separated from the CO2. The article does not discuss how much energy it takes to accelerate CO2 molecules versus the O2 production rate, in terms of the carbon footprint of the entire cycle. It also seems that the carbon becomes carbon monoxide, and I wonder at what point CO becomes a problem if this process is used for mass CO2 conversion?

Here are the papers: https://authors.library.caltech.edu/95774/
 
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