Carbon dioxide can be scrubbed from factory emissions and used to build new products.
That’s the finding of new research from Oregon State University, which has revealed that products such as battery electrolytes and pharmaceutical precursors can be built using the process of cleaning emissions from factories.
The process works by using a metal framework as a catalyst for cyclic carbonate production from carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. The gases are therefore removed from the factory’s output and simultaneously turned into useful chemicals for industry all in one process.
Lead researcher Kyriakos Stylianou explained: “We’ve taken a big step toward solving a crucial challenge associated with the hoped-for circular carbon economy by developing an effective catalyst.
“Being able to directly use carbon dioxide from impure sources saves the cost and energy of separating it before it can be used to make cyclic carbonates, which will be a boon for the green economy.”
The research also uses a metal framework that latches specifically to carbon, meaning it takes the pollutant directly out of factory emissions and causes a reaction to turn that into a useful chemical for industry.