A new technology will convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into valuable carbon nanotubes
Purification of gases before release into the atmosphere brings only indirect profits, and therefore this direction is not developing as large as the interests of ecology require. But what if the enterprises will have an incentive in the form of the opportunity to make money from the air? More precisely, dirty air, getting at the exit is a very expensive technology product.
The initiative, which appeared in the framework of the XPrize contest, offers an easy way to process CO 2 . If lithium carbonate Li 2 CO 3 is taken and heated to 723 ° C, lithium dioxide Li 2 O, oxygen and carbon are liberated when the salt melts . Oxygen settles on an aluminum anode in the molecular form O 2 , and carbon – on the iron cathode in the form of nanotubes. Dioxide reacts with CO 2 in the air, removing carbon and oxygen from it, and again turns into salt, which is suitable for further processing.
The scheme is clear, the issue of investment – it is necessary that specific companies start investing in solving various organizational problems of the new technology. Among them, for example, is the rapid mixing of the catalyst and the salt, which creates bubble-voids that interfere with the formation of nanotubes and produce too much “non-commodity” diameter. The longer the salt is heated, the worse the quality, but it is unprofitable to turn on and turn off the unit constantly.
Calculations show that if we take conditional average figures, then the cost of processing carbon dioxide will be half as much as the cost of carbon nanotubes, which will be obtained at the output. True, we still need to find a buyer for them, but there is still a profitable direction for business that will help solve several serious problems facing humanity.