Yeah... Math was never a strong point for me. Yes, you read that correctly, this is Part 4 of an originally-3-part series. But I am being Agile. Adapting. I'm allowing a new requirement to change the design.
This is a short post about a carbon-capture-at-the-source technique that was just covered a few days ago in Popular Mechanics magazine.
The idea is to actually use carbon to capture carbon at the source - at coal plants.
Of course, eventually we need to get "off" of fossil fuel, but for now, we need to do all we can to limit CO2 production at the source as we work on renewable, non-fossil energy sources. For those carbon plants, the process to scrub and sequester carbon has been expensive. This solution promises to be significantly less expensive and easy to implement.
Tiny carbon spheres with holes in them - holes so small that they are only slightly larger than the carbon dioxide atoms they’re meant to collect.
There's even a name for the material, reminiscent of a certain Mary Poppins song... "ultramicroporous" (see below - all along, it turns out they were singing about carbon sequestration!).
In this paper, the technique is explained in technical detail. Bottom line: a powder made from ultramicroporous nanosphere. From the abstract of the paper:
"An ultrahigh ultramicropore content of 95.5% was achieved for the optimally-designed carbon nanospheres, which demonstrated excellent CO2 capture performances with extremely high capacities of 1.58 mmol g−1 at typical flue gas conditions and 4.30 mmol g−1 at 25 °C and ambient pressure. Beyond that, the CO2 adsorption mechanism in ultramicropore was also investigated through molecular dynamics simulation to guide the pore size optimization. This work provides a novel and facile guideline to engineer carbon materials with abundant and tunable ultramicroporosity towards superior CO2 capture performance".
A product of work jointly done between Canada's University of Waterloo, by Professor Zhongwei Chen, Canadian Research Chair Professor
in Advanced Materials for Clean Energy, and several colleagues in China, the work was recently promoted on that University's web page.
You add this to the list of carbon capture techniques although this one is meant to be a bit more preventive.
Next time, I'll try to do a better job of arithmetic!