Korean researchers have developed a technology to produce electricity and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in water. It will contribute to accelerating the era of hydrogen energy by simultaneously producing both electric energy and future clean energy resource hydrogen while eliminating carbon dioxide.
Ulsan Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) announced on June 4 that its research team led by Professor Kim Gun-tae of the Department of Energy and Chemical Engineering developed the "Aqueous Zn or Al–CO₂ System," which produces electricity and hydrogen using carbon dioxide.
The researchers focused on the fact that carbon dioxide is easily converted into other materials when dissolved in water. When carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, hydrogen ions make water more acidic, and electrons move to make electric energy. In this process, carbon dioxide is converted to another substance called potassium bicarbonate, and the conversion efficiency reached over 57 percent. In addition, hydrogen ions in water meet with electrons to produce hydrogen gas.
The aqueous dioxide is used to make a type of battery, during which carbon dioxide is removed during the electrochemical reaction, producing electricity and hydrogen.
The researchers said they lowered prices by using inexpensive electrodes and membranes compared to the sodium metal-carbon dioxide system they showed last year and that they safely improved electricity and hydrogen production without the risk of explosion.
Kim said, "This technology is evaluated as a highly applicable technology that can produce hydrogen and electricity while reducing carbon dioxide in a faster and cheaper manner. We believe the technology can be easily commercialized as we have reached the level of empirical research fast."
This study was published in international journal AngewandteChemie on May 22.