A new process could convert captured greenhouse gas emissions into a useful fuel.
The technique, developed by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s (DoE) Idaho National Laboratory (INL), could help carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies become more widely implemented by making them much more economically viable.
The researchers have developed an efficient process for turning captured carbon dioxide into syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide that can be used to make a range of fuels and chemicals.
This was previously possible but even using high temperatures and pressures, the process was fairly inefficient.
The team, which has filed a provisional patent, says the new method offers “industrially relevant” conversion rates at only 25°C and 40 psi.
INL’s Dr Luis Diaz Aldana said: “It integrates two areas that have been on parallel tracks: CCS and carbon dioxide utilisation.
“The problem with CCS has been its economic feasibility. If you can get some extra value out of the carbon dioxide you are capturing, it’s a different story.”
Priyanka Shrestha visits the TCM centre in Mongstad on the outskirts of Norway.