A scientist has given a demonstration of a siphoning of carbon from the air to make things.
A new method has gotten discovered. Researchers have been using it to electrochemically suck the carbon dioxide from air. And they will use it to build stuff. The CO2 gets changed to carbon and oxygen molecules and fixated on a nanoscale level to make fibres.
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This is a low-cost method of building edifices by sucking out the ingredients from pure air. In fact, this methodology may prove to be a bulwark against climate change.
Carbon fibres get used in the construction of cars and spacecraft. That is in the automobile and aerospace industries respectively. Their low weight and tensile strength make them the ideal material. And the electrical conductance of these fibers gets enhanced at the nanoscale level.
Yet currently the older process is still expensive. This new electrochemical process is ten times cheaper. You get high value materials at a cost that is dirt cheap to begin with. Can there be anything better than this? But the benefits of this method go way beyond the construction material source argument. It may get used to deal with climatic pollution.
The excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may get collected. And it may get frozen in time via this scheme. The carbon is thus stored in a stable and compact manner. The atmosphere is safer and less polluted and the carbon has use value too.
Solar power could get employed in the experiments being carried out. Thereby the process is made a renewable one. That is because a large amount of thermal power is required. That is to allow the chemical reactions to take place. And the process is a complex one.
Molten lithium carbonate has lithium oxide dissolved in it. The lithium oxide combines with carbon dioxide and forms more lithium carbonate. And then electrolysis is applied to this chemical hotch potch.
The result is carbon and oxygen get produced. These two elements deposit themselves on one of the electrodes. Various nanofibers could be constructed from the materials deposited on the electrodes. The process is a miracle of chemical engineering.
The nature of the fibers may vary from uniform to other types. It all depends upon the control exercised by the technicians in charge of the experiment. The process could get applied in the future to remove pollutants from the air. In fact, it can take pollution levels back to what they were during pre-industrial times.
This research was published in the American Chemical Society's Nano Letters.