More efficient ways to lower CO2
The term carbon capture is talked about as a way to battle against climate change, but what exactly is it? This recent NY Times video does a great job explaining it.
Basically, when a power plant burns fossil fuel such as coal, it releases gas into the air. Carbon capture technology can single out the CO2 molecules in this gas before it leaves the smokestack. The current process is to spray a chemical on the gas to separate the carbon dioxide so that it can be pumped underground.
This process is both expensive and can take up a third of the plant’s generated power known as parasitic energy. Scientists are trying to find ways to use safer and energy efficient materials to reduce this issue. The problem is that a wide array (millions!) of chemicals can bond with CO2, making the testing process quite complex.
UC Berkeley’s Berend Smit and his team have created a computer model to test out these materials in the virtual world. So researchers can upload the molecular structure they want to test to a website and see how efficient it might be.
You can read more about this project here.