Aussie company airs innovative idea to help climate

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 23, 2021
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SYDNEY, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- An Australian renewable energy company has announced it is creating solar-powered devices capable of absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the air.

Southern Green Gas (SGG) managing director Rohan Gillespie said the Direct Air Capture (DAC) modules were designed to act as "sponges" for CO2, a major climate change problem.

"The metal organic framework, or MOF, is a crystalline structure with lots of void space, like a sponge basically," Gillespie, who is based in the Victorian capital of Melbourne, told Xinhua on Wednesday.

"The MOFs are fine-tuned to absorb CO2, then we use heat to get it back out of the sponge in a pure form where it can be put in concrete or other building materials."

Gillespie said the DACs were due to go on sale by the end of 2022, but in the meantime, SGG was also working with the Australian government to develop a renewable methane, another gas causing devastating climate problems.

The company's "green" gas project works by splitting water with solar energy to produce hydrogen, which is then coupled with CO2 extracted from the atmosphere and used as a sustainable fuel.

Their first trial of the gas pipelines was expected to be operational by late 2021.

Gillespie said the "multi-pronged approach" was part of SGG's motto to "Do your best, and remove the rest".

Such innovations, although most welcomed by environmental experts, could still face production hurdles, according to at least one energy production expert.

Professor Jason Scott, from the University of New South Wales, told Xinhua on Wednesday that such technology showed promise but still faced challenges in its real-world implementation.

"In terms of talking about direct air capture... the challenge is the concentrations of CO2 are still so low," Scott said.

He said the low background concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, around 400 parts per million, would mean carbon capture would require the intake of vast volumes of air and subsequently take a long time to be effective.

"To be able to do it (carbon capture) on a scale, or at a cost which is viable. At this stage, might be a difficult thing."

"There's no reason why, when you're talking about CO2 capture and its utilization, in 10 to 15 years' time it might be cost-effective and a viable kind of approach.

"It has potential, it's still not there yet, but it's heading in the right direction." Enditem

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