Using this catalyst, researchers have demonstrated reaction rate improvements similar to more well-known enzymatic methods.

About

The Problem

Global energy demand is predicted to double by 2035 and with 70% of current demand being met through the burning of carbon-based fuels the world faces a growing challenge. Reducing climate change contributing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is a global problem that can only be solved through technological innovation. However, the probability of moving to 100% fossil-fuel independent supply is vanishingly small. Instead, the safe capture and storage of CO2 is the most viable solution available.

Although there are numerous technologies available for the large scale capture of CO2, most involve expensive, complex processing and/or dangerous chemicals.

 

There are two generally accepted methods for the long-term geological storage of CO2:


Separation of CO2 from other gases formed from combustion processes in large scale energy production; power plants, factories, incineration, manufacturing processes which is then pumped into depleting oil fields.
Conversion of CO2 into calcium carbonate followed by storage in landfill.


The second of these options is preferable, as calcium carbonate is inert and non-toxic. However, conversion of CO2 to calcium carbonate is a complex process and not currently efficient or cheap enough to perform on an industrial scale.

 

The Opportunity

Scientists at Newcastle University have discovered a novel, non-enzymatic catalyst for the conversion of CO2 into calcium carbonate which could significantly reduce the cost of this solution.

Using this catalyst, researchers have demonstrated reaction rate improvements similar to more well-known enzymatic methods.

 

Newcastle University is currently seeking collaborative research partners or funding opportunities to further develop this catalytic method.

 

Intellectual Property

This method is the subject of a UK patent application.

 

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