PhD researcher Karma Zuraiqi with Dr Ken Chiang and Associate Professor Torben Daeneke.
Original Published Date: 
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Full article issued by RMIT University.

ARC-supported researchers have developed a smart and super-efficient new way of capturing carbon dioxide and converting it to solid carbon, to help advance the decarbonisation of heavy industries.

The carbon dioxide utilisation technology from RMIT researchers, including Associate Professor Torben Daeneke who is a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) recipient, is designed to be smoothly integrated into existing industrial processes.

Decarbonisation is an immense technical challenge for heavy industries like cement and steel, which are not only energy-intensive but also directly emit CO2 as part of the production process.

The new technology, which builds on an earlier experimental approach that used liquid metals as a catalyst, offers a pathway for instantly converting carbon dioxide as it is produced and locking it permanently in a solid state, keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere.

'Our new method still harnesses the power of liquid metals but the design has been modified for smoother integration into standard industrial processes,' Associate Professor Daeneke says.

'As well as being simpler to scale up, the new tech is radically more efficient and can break down CO2 to carbon in an instant.'

'We hope this could be a significant new tool in the push towards decarbonisation, to help industries and governments deliver on their climate commitments and bring us radically closer to net zero.'

A provisional patent application has been filed for the technology and researchers have recently signed a $2.6 million agreement with Australian environmental technology company ABR, who are commercialising technologies to decarbonise the cement and steel manufacturing industries.

Photo credit: 

Image: PhD researcher Karma Zuraiqi with Dr Ken Chiang and Associate Professor Torben Daeneke. Credit: RMIT.