Students in Michigan Technical University‘s Chemical Engineering Program have developed a cheaper substitute for conventional carbon capturing methods at power plants. Their proprietary liquid is capable of negating 50% of all CO2 emissions emitted by smokestacks, offering an economically viable alternative to the expensive processing methods of other carbon scrubbers.
The ingenuity of this development is demonstrated by MTU’s 11 foot-tall bench model, which billows away in their laboratory under the supervision of the program’s chair, Komar Kawatra. As CO2 rises within the smoke stack, their specially engineered liquid slowly percolates downwards, and captures approximately half of the emissions. Unlike other carbon sequestration methods that can store up to 90% of emitted CO2, this liquid does not need to go through expensive compression processes, which normally deter power plants from adopting this technology. In fact, the liquid is recyclable and creates a solid byproduct which can later be used as an “undisclosed construction material.”
Companies will be much more inclined to adopt this inexpensive alternative to current carbon capture technology. The liquid’s byproduct material is an added incentive, and could prove to be a practical way to pay off the initial investment. The students are currently seeking a patent for their discovery, and hope to partner with Carbontec Energy Corporation to further develop their work.