Make like a leaf: researchers developing new method to convert CO2 – News – The University of Sydney

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and 'breathe' out oxygen. Photo credit: Luisa Low/University of Sydney

While the research has been conducted on a nanoscale, Professor Huang hopes the technology will be used by power stations to capture emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Our CO2absorbent plates may be small, but our goal is to now create large panels, similar to solar panels, that would be used by industry to absorb and convert large volumes of CO2, said Professor Huang.

CO2emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and transport are the main cause of global warming, contributing up to 65 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

While plants breathe in CO2, a process called photosynthesis, deforestation and development has decreased their overall capacity to restore oxygen levels.

As nations attempt to curb emissions and divest from fossil fuels, Dr Huang feels there should also be an increased focus on carbon capture and re-use to minimise the harmful impact of increased atmospheric CO2.

The current global commitment to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 is an enormous challenge, and one that will be difficult to achieve given that energy needs are accelerating, said Professor Huang.

Carbon capture technologies have been around for over 10 years. However, they require carbon to being held in deep underground chambers.

Carbon conversion could be a financially viable alternative as it would allow for the generation of industrial quantities of materials, such as methanol, which is a useful material for production of fuels and other chemicals, he concluded.

DISCLOSURE

Professor Jun Huangs research is supported by the Australian Research Council (DP180104010, theSydney Research Accelerator Prizes (SOAR) and theUniversity of Sydney Nano Institute Grand Challenge program.

The paper was authored by Dr Haitao Li, Dr Yadan Deng, Dr Youdi Liu, Dr Xin Zeng, Professor Dianne Wiley and Professor Jun Huang.

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Make like a leaf: researchers developing new method to convert CO2 - News - The University of Sydney

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