Carbon dioxide is a problem of abundance. (Is that "glass half full" enough for you?)
So, how do we get rid of it?
Well, one way is to suck it out of the air.
But most solutions for this purpose require high concentrations of carbon dioxide, such as the concentrations present in the smoke stack of a coal-fired power plant.
Or they are too energy intensive and expensive to be deployed at scale. And, oh boy, do we need scale. Like, yesterday.
How does it work? Here are some excerpts..
"The device is essentially a large, specialized battery that absorbs carbon dioxide from the air (or other gas stream) passing over its electrodes as it is being charged up, and then releases the gas as it is being discharged."
"As the battery charges, an electrochemical reaction takes place at the surface of each of a stack of electrodes. These are coated with a compound called polyanthraquinone, which is composited with carbon nanotubes. The electrodes have a natural affinity for carbon dioxide and readily react...at room temperature and normal air pressure."
"In the lab, the team has proven the system can withstand at least 7,000 charging-discharging cycles, with a 30% loss in efficiency over that time. The researchers estimate that they can readily improve that to 20,000 to 50,000 cycles."
"The researchers have set up a company called Verdox to commercialize the process, and hope to develop a pilot-scale plant within the next few years."
With our Mastermind, we aim to highlight this kind of innovation, and inspire bigger thinking and greater collaboration to solve the big challenges that define our time.