Inexpensive carbon capture technology filters out carbon 2 in the exhaust.

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UC Berkeley researchers have developed a cheap and energy-efficient carbon capture technology that could one day stick in everything from factory exhausts to car exhausts — keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

Carbon capture: While reducing sources of greenhouse emissions is key to combating climate change, the transition will take time completely They move away from electricity generated from fossil fuels – and gas and diesel powered cars.

Carbon capture technology helps reduce environmental damage by capturing CO2 emissions at source during the transition. (This is different from direct air capture technologies, which directly remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.)

We can then store the carbon underground or use it to create concrete, jet fuel and more.

The testCarbon capture technology isn’t new — various power and processing plants have been using it since the 1970s — but today there are fewer than 30 projects.

“Several factors can explain the slow increase [carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies]But the high cost is one of the most frequently heard,” analysts Adam Beilin-Stern and Nils Bergaut wrote in a 2021 opinion piece for the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“We want to think about carbon capture materials from sources that are really cheap and accessible.”

Jeffrey Rimmer

Berkeley researchers, with the help of scientists at Stanford University and Texas A&M University, plan to integrate the low-cost carbon capture technology that could accelerate its adoption.

“We wanted to think of a carbon casting material from really cheap and readily available sources, and we decided to start with melamine,” said co-author Jeffrey Reimer.

How it works: Melamine is a strong organic compound. It costs about $40 per ton in powder form and is commonly used to make formica, industrial coatings and cheap tableware.

For their research, the Berkeley team developed a process that combined melamine with formaldehyde, diethylenetriamine (a chemical used in asphalt) and cyanuric acid (a chemical used to keep pools clean).

“Hopefully we can design a future attachment to capture car exhaust gas.”

Haiyan Mao

The resulting material contains holes that can trap all of the CO2 in the exhaust mixture within minutes. Heating the material to a relatively low temperature (80 C or 176 F) releases the CO2, and the material can be reused.

The best carbon capture technology today requires the CO2-capturing material to be heated to 120-150C (250-300F), the researchers say, so the lower temperature required by the melamine material makes it more energy efficient. Effective.

look forward – The researchers are working to further improve their ability to capture carbon without affecting its energy efficiency.

“This work creates a general industrial method for sustainable CO2 capture,” said first author Haiyan Mao. “We hope to design a future attachment to capture car exhaust, or perhaps an attachment to a building or even a coating on furniture.”

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