Researchers at the Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) have developed a system that produces electricity and hydrogen while eliminating carbon dioxide, which is the main culprit of global warming.
A research team led by Prof. Kim Kun-tae of the Energy and Chemical Engineering Department announced on Dec. 10 that it has developed the 'Hybrid Na-CO2 System.'
The system is a cell system that dissolves carbon dioxide in water and produces electricity and hydrogen.
Most of the carbon dioxide 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 carbon dioxide into water to induce an electrochemical reaction.
If acidity increases, the number of protons increases, which in turn increases the power to attract electrons, and if a battery system is created based on this phenomenon, electricity can be produced by removing carbon dioxide.
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 carbon dioxide is injected into the water, the entire reaction gets started, eliminating carbon dioxide and creating electricity and hydrogen.
At this time, the conversion efficiency of carbon dioxide is high at 50 percent.
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 carbon dioxide by inducing voluntary chemical reactions.
"This research will lead to more derived research and will be able to produce hydrogen and electricity more effectively when electrolytes, separator, system design, and electrocatalysts are improved." said Professor Kim.
The study was published in the journal "IScience," a sister journal of the journal Cell.