While the research has been conducted on a nanoscale, Professor Huang hopes the technology will be used by power stations to capture emissions from burning fossil fuels.
Original Published Date: 
Monday, October 14, 2019

Full article issued by The University of Sydney.

ARC-supported Professor Jun Huang from The University of Sydney’s School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is developing a carbon capture method that aims to go one step beyond storage, instead converting and recycling carbon dioxide (CO2) into raw materials that can be used to create fuels and chemicals.

“Drawing inspiration from leaves and plants, we have developed an artificial photosynthesis method,” said Professor Huang. 

To simulate photosynthesis, the researchers built microplates of carbon layered with carbon quantum dots with tiny pores that absorb CO2 and water. Once carbon dioxide and water are absorbed, a chemical process occurs that combines both compounds and turns them into hydrocarbon, an organic compound that can be used for fuels, pharmaceuticals, agrichemicals, clothing, and construction.

While the research has been conducted on a nanoscale, Professor Huang hopes the technology will be used by power stations to capture emissions from burning fossil fuels. CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and transport are the main cause of global warming, contributing up to 65 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo credit: 

Image credit: Luisa Low/University of Sydney