Climate change is having disastrous repercussions all around the world, necessitating the development of new technologies and lifestyles that will cut carbon emissions. Many scientists are attempting to find strategies to limit the amount of carbon dioxide already emitted into the environment.
Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have created a novel carbon capture technology with remarkable performance that extracts carbon dioxide directly from the environment.
In a “liquid-solid phase separation” system, the novel molecule, isophorone diamine (IPDA), was discovered to remove carbon dioxide with 99 percent effectiveness at low quantities in the environment. The compound is reusable and at least twice as quick as existing devices, making it a promising new advance in direct air collection.
Many direct air capture (DAC) systems circulate air through a liquid, which can absorb CO2 or cause it to segregate into solid crystals or flakes. When the reaction product is insoluble and comes out of the solution as a solid, liquid-solid phase separation devices provide an elegant solution. The product does not accumulate in the liquid, and the reaction speed does not slow down significantly.
The team concentrated on liquid amine compounds, changing their structure to improve reaction speed and efficiency across a wide range of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. The IPDA was shown to be capable of removing more than 99 percent of CO2 from the air at a concentration of 400 parts per million in tests (ppm). They showed that heating the solid distributed in solution to 333 K (60 degrees Celsius) was all it took to liberate the trapped carbon dioxide and regain the original liquid.
The rate of carbon dioxide removal was at least twice as rapid as the leading DAC lab systems, making it the world’s fastest carbon dioxide capture system for low-concentration carbon dioxide in the air at the time (400ppm).
The new technique offers unrivaled performance and reliability in DAC systems, with far-reaching implications for large-scale carbon capture systems. Beyond enhancing their technology, their vision of a “beyond zero” world now focuses on how carbon gathered in industrial applications and domestic products may be successfully employed.