Capturing and Converting Carbon Dioxide into a Useful Product


Carbon dioxide is a troublemaker.

Carbon dioxide is a troublemaker. So, it’s a good idea to remove it from power plant emissions — and it may have an extra economic benefit. 

Until now, carbon dioxide has been dumped in oceans or buried underground. Industry has been reluctant to implement carbon dioxide scrubbers in facilities due to cost and footprint.

What if we could not only capture carbon dioxide, but convert it into something useful? S. Komar Kawatra and his students have tackled that challenge, and they’re having some success.

A team lead by Kawatra, a professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University, his PhD students, Sriram Valluri and Victor Claremboux, and undergraduate Sam Root, have designed a carbon dioxide scrubber. They are working on converting the carbon dioxide they capture into oxalic acid, a naturally occurring chemical in many foods.

Read more at Michigan Technological University

Image:  Carbon dioxide scrubbers remove emissions from power plant systems.  CREDIT: Michigan Technological University