Carbon capture technology allows the re-capturing of carbon from the air as well as the collection of carbon from various emissions sources. One of the most vital components of this process is the production of carbon-capturing spheres. These spheres function by capturing carbon from the air and converting the CO2 into solids. This allows the CO2 to easily be stored and kept from polluting the atmosphere in a gaseous form.
Researchers at Swansea University have developed a new way to produce these carbon spheres that can be scaled effectively.
Carbon spheres in their own right range in size dramatically. They can be anywhere from a few nanometers to a few micrometers and are commonly used in many environmental treatment processes like water treatment, gas storage, and even drug delivery.
One of the largest issues surrounding carbon spheres is that they are often expensive or impractical to produce, limiting their applications.
A team at Swansea University's Energy Safety Research Institute has made a major advance in the practicality of production for these carbon spheres.
Utilizing an existing manufacturing technique known as chemical vapor deposition, or CVD, they were able to apply a thin coating to materials to create the spheres. They also altered the temperatures at which the vapor was deposited, in the range of 600 to 900 degrees celsius.
Ultimately the team found that the process works best at 800°C and utilizing the CVD method gave the spheres significant carbon capture capacity. The spheres, which work by absorbing carbon through small pores, had their surface area increased by the deposition temperature, making them more efficient.
This new method of making and producing carbon spheres is significantly easier than traditional manufacturing techniques.
In a statement to Swansea University, lead researcher Dr. Saeid Khodabakhshi of the Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University said about the discovery, "Our research shows a green and sustainable way of making [carbon spheres]. We demonstrated a safe, clean and rapid way of producing the spheres. Crucially, the micropores in our spheres mean they perform very well in capturing carbon."
You can read the research published by Science Direct, here.