Earth suffers immensely due to the increasing emissions and environmental degradation that is casually done by its occupants. A recent project that is being carried out at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany) is building a test facility for the active reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. This project is named the Negative Carbon Dioxide to Carbon (NECOC) project. The basic idea of the project is to convert the carbon content in the air to solidified pure black carbon, which can be eventually used as a resource.
Using an absorber, CO2 is obtained from the air in a process known as Direct Air Capture (DAC). Renewable hydrogen is used to convert the CO2 into methane and water in a reactor. Methane is vital for the procedure because it acts as a transporter of carbon until the end of the process. The methane is then mixed with liquid tin. As the reaction takes place in the reactor, methane decomposes down to its basic constituents, hydrogen and pure carbon in granular or powder form.
The different processes have been extensively explored by all researchers, though, independently. This was the first time an integrated facility was used. The results would be beneficial in more than one way, owing to it reducing carbon content from the atmosphere and ‘producing pure carbon out of thin air.’ Moreover, the carbon is in solid form, which is much easier to handle. This is a viable process for sustaining the supply of carbon, post fossil fuel exhaustion. It is also, comparatively, a more cost-effective and simplistic approach to curbing emission and increasing the supply of carbon simultaneously. There has been a boatload increase in awareness across the globe about environmental degradation. So, with more and more citizens looking for ways to reduce emission and giving back to earth, it was about time a viable solution was discovered.
This facility will be inaugurated at the KIT University, where its performance will be monitored for an extended period to confirm its efficacy. Now, if the performance is impressive, the facility might get an extension by adding more containers and reactors. Presently, NECOC is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy with the amount of EUR 1.5 Million for three years.
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