New DAC technology exploits an “infinite” carbon sink


Direct Air Capture (DAC) extracts CO2 directly from atmospheric air by running it through a number of filters, which chemically react to trap CO2. Most systems use liquid or chemical sorbents (typically common chemicals) to trap CO2, which is then released by warming it, regenerating the sorbent which is free to capture more CO2. The captured CO2 is then injected into underground structures or chemically trapped in a capture material such as sodium bicarbonate.

Now engineering researchers from Lehigh University have developed a novel DAC solution that captures carbon dioxide from the air and stores it in the “infinite sink” of the ocean.

The technology innovated by LeHigh uses a copper-containing polymeric filter. CO2 passed over the filter material chemically reacts and is converted into sodium bicarbonate (better known by its common name, baking soda) which is then released harmlessly into the ocean. The Lehigh researchers have named the newly created filter material DeCarbonHIX (i.e., decarbonisation through hybrid ion exchange material).

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