Carbon Dioxide to Carbon

This blog is taken from the post Carbon Dioxide to Carbon.

One of the themes of this site is that new technologies may provide some pleasant surprises when it comes to climate change. This does not mean that there is some deus ex machina that will take of all our problems. Nor is there aa magic wand that will allow us to maintain our current, energy-guzzling lifestyle. Nevertheless, it is worth looking at innovative ideas. They may turn out to be helpful. (It is important also to be cautious, as we saw with the excitement to do with “cold fusion” a few years ago.)

The recent publication of the paper Direct conversion of CO2 to solid carbon by Ga-based liquid metals is an example of a technology that could help slow down the rate at which the climate is changing. The magazine New Atlas provides an overview.

The basic idea is that carbon dioxide (CO2) gas is bubbled through a liquid metal that breaks the CO2 molecule and creates solid carbon. Temperatures are quite low, and there is no need to inject hydrogen. The energy needed can be provided by a renewable source such as wind or solar.

Whether this idea will work at a commercial scale remains very much to be seen. But it is ideas such as this could turn out to be important and useful.