Scientists find way to take CO2 from Air and make Carbon nanofibres

Scientists from United States have discovered a way to take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and convert it into valuable manufacturing material carbon nanofibres (CNFs).

This method was discovered team of researchers led by Prof Stuart Licht of Washington DC based George Washington University. In this regard, they have developed a practical system.

Key findings

  • CO2 from air is absorbed by this system and converted into carbon nanofibres (CNFs).
  • Working: This solar-powered system runs on few volts of electricity. When electricity is passed through a tank filled with a hot, molten salt the atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by the fluid in the tank.
  • This absorbed CO2 is converted into tiny CNFs which are slowly deposited at one of the electrodes of the system.
  • Currently the small lab model of this system produces around 10 grams of nanofibres in an hour.
  • Implication and Potential Application: It could offer a cheaper way of making carbon nanofibres than existing costly methods which are too expensive for many applications.
  • It can also play important role in absorbing or sequestering excess atmospheric CO2 emissions which is one of the leading factor of climate change.

Carbon nanofibers (CNFs): It is cylindric nanostructures with graphene layers arranged as stacked cones, cups or plates structure. It has high tensile strength, less distortions with changes in temperature and high electromagnetic shielding. Graphene layers of CNFs wrapped into perfect cylinders are called carbon nanotubes.

Applications of CFNs: They are already used in high-end applications such as electronic components and batteries. They are used as lightweight carbon composites materials in aircraft and car components.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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