Due to increasing pollution and global warming, sustainable energy sources are indispensable. In this regard, researchers at the University of Cambridge have found a way to form clean, sustainable fuels through the combination of CO2 captured from the air and solar energy taken from the sun. The team used a solar-powered reactor to convert carbon dioxide from real sources into an infinite energy supply. According to the researchers, this sustainable energy can be made for use on an industrial scale.
Furthermore, it is relevant to mention here that the research was motivated by carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems. These systems have been used to capture CO2 and pump it to underground storage. In this regard, Dr. Motiar Rahaman from the university’s Department of Chemistry:
Instead of storing CO2 underground, like in CCS, we can extract it from the air and turn it into clean fuel. In this way we can exclude the fossil fuel industry from the process of fuel production, which hopefully can help us avoid climate destruction.
How does the solar powered technology work?
The technology has the ability to actively capture CO2 from both industrial processes and directly from the air. After passing the CO2 through an alkaline solution, the researchers concentrated the CO22 to convert it into syngas fuel using sunlight. In addition, putting plastic waste into the system allowed the team to create useful chemicals, such as glycolic acid. The acid plays a vital role in the cosmetics industry.
Another expert who shared his thoughts on the technology said:
This solar-powered system takes two harmful waste products – plastic and carbon emissions – and turns them into something really useful. What is special is that we can effectively remove CO2 from the air and turn it into something useful. It’s gratifying to see that we can actually do this with just sunlight.
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