Korean researchers develop system that produces hydrogen and electricity by eliminating carbon dioxide.

Researchers at the Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), have developed a system that produces electricity and hydrogen (H2) while eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the main contributor of global warming.

A research team, led by Professor Kim Kun-tae of the Energy and Chemical Engineering Department, have developed the ’Hybrid Na-CO2 System.’ The system is a cell system that dissolves CO2 in water and produces electricity and H2.

Most of the CO2 that humans emit is absorbed into the sea and turns seawater into acidity. The researchers focused on this phenomenon and came up with the idea of melting CO2 into water to induce an electrochemical reaction.

”This research will lead to more derived research and will be able to produce Hand electricity more effectively…”

Professor Kim Kun-tae of the Energy and Chemical Engineering Department

If acidity increases, the number of protons increases, which in turn increases the power to attract electrons. If a battery system is created based on this phenomenon, electricity can be produced by removing CO2.

The Hybrid Na-CO2 System, just like a fuel cell, consists of a cathode (sodium metal), separator (NASICON), and anode (catalyst). Unlike other batteries, catalysts are contained in water and are connected by a lead wire to a cathode. When CO2 is injected into the water, the entire reaction gets started, eliminating CO2 and creating electricity and H2. At this time, the conversion efficiency of CO2 is high at 50%. 

In particular, this system has shown stability to the point of operating for more than 1,000 hours without damage to electrodes.

The system can be applied to remove CO2 by inducing voluntary chemical reactions.

“This research will lead to more derived research and will be able to produce Hand electricity more effectively when electrolytes, separator, system design, and electrocatalysts are improved,” said Professor Kim Kun-tae.