Scientists Find Way to Turn Carbon Emissions into Usable Energy

The new system could not only help eliminate carbon emissions but could create renewable energy.
Donovan Alexander

CCUS or carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration will be a crucial weapon in the fight against global climate change. For the uninitiated, CCS technology takes carbon emissions (CO2) and converts it into useful environmentally safe materials.

The Global CCS Institute believes that CCUS will be a “pivotal climate change technology.” In the institute has pointed towards CCUS as one of the most effective options available to reduce emissions and meet international climate change targets.

Recently, researchers have built on previous CCUS research to develop a system that produces electricity and hydrogen while simultaneously eliminating the environmentally damaging carbon dioxide.

It’s Electric!

The electric breakthrough came together under the guidance of Professor Guntae Kim in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST in collaboration with Professor Jaephil Cho in the Department of Energy Engineering and Professor Meilin Liu in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Scientists Find Way to Turn Carbon Emissions into Usable Energy
Source: iScience

In their research, the team produced a Hybrid Na-CO2 system that uses CO2 to create electrical energy and hydrogen through an aqueous solution or a solution in which the solvent is water.


CO2 emissions are absorbed by the ocean and turned into acidity each day. Using this insight, the research team developed the idea of melting CO2 into the water to induce an electrochemical reaction.

As the acidity increases in the solution, the number of protons increases, attracting electrons, a process that could be used to build a CO2 converting battery.

The new Hybrid Na-CO2 very similarly to a fuel cell. This new system would not only help eliminate the greenhouse gas CO2 but it would also generate a clean energy source, hydrogen.

CO2 is the Villain

Though carbon dioxide naturally occurs in our planet's atmosphere, too much of it can be very damaging to the planet. Human CO2 is usually caused by deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels such as coal.

When too much CO2 enters the atmosphere, it heats the earth, dramatically disrupting and changing the planets delicate ecosystem. CCUS technology will play a vital role in the very near future.  

What do you think about the emergence of CCUS technology and do you believe it is a viable tool in the battle against climate change?  

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