A remarkable new study reveals that scientists have stumbled upon a way to stop climate change dead in its tracks.
A new study has shocked the scientific world with the finding that carbon dioxide in the air can be turned into a natural resource, which could end Global Warming as we know it.
There’s a lot of work to be done, not surprisingly, but if the results hold it could have a huge impact on the battle against climate change that could represent the holy grail for both scientists and government officials looking to tackle the issue: a way to turn the greenhouse gas that causes it into a valuable commodity, according to a Phys.org report.
A team of chemists will present the study at the National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society, which will show how to convert atmospheric CO2 into carbon nanofibers that would be used in an industrial and consumer capacity. Dubbed “diamonds in the sky by Stuart Licht of George Washington University, who led the team, it would allow industrial manufacturers to create high-yield carbon nanofibers literally out of thing air, turning them into carbon composites that are found on such things as the Boeing Dreamliner aircraft, sports equipment, and a host of other products that are highly valuable in this day and age. Licht used that phrase to describe it both because diamonds are made from carbon, and to allude to the fact that this could be an incredibly valuable resource.
It’s the latest huge development for a research team that has tackled other tough Global Warming challenges in the past, including a study that found a method for creating a fertilizer and cement that doesn’t emit carbon dioxide into the air. But their new challenge was to take CO2 that is in the air and turn it into a useful resource, rather than allow it to escape into the atmosphere and wreak havoc on the environment.
These carbon nanofibers would be produced from both atmosphric carbon and oxygen. It is an efficient process that requires just a few volts of electricity and sunlight, as well as plenty of CO2. The process uses electrolytic syntheses to produce the nanofibers, breaking down the CO2 in a molten carbonate bath at 1,380 degrees Fahrenheit. The method would then call for atmospheric air to be pumped into the chamber so the CO2 dissolves in the heat, causing current to go to the electrodes and carbon nanofibers to build up on them.
The process uses solar energy for the heat and electricity. The rays of the sun are focused on a solar cell, and a separate system adds heat and thermal energy so the electrolytic cell’s temperature can rise to the correct level.
The cost of doing this is an astonishingly cheap $1,000 per ton of carbon nanofibers. That would be hundreds of times cheaper than the cost of making the product today, resulting in immense profitability.
And it could have profound effects on the environment. Licht said that by covering an area just 10 percent of the size of the Sahara Desert with this system, enough CO2 could be pulled from the air to reduce atmospheric levels to pre-industrial revolution levels in just 10 years time. But it’s an experimental system that will need lots of work, especially in terms of making consistently sized nanofibers.
Still, it is a massive step forward in a frustrating effort to battle climate change.