A nickel catalyst has been found, with the help of sea urchins, capable of removing CO2 and turning it into solid calcium carbonate. This technology, if successfully commercialized, could at last make "clean coal" possible.

Could the Humble Sea Urchin Hold the Key to Carbon Capture?

The discovery that sea urchins use nickel particles to harness carbon dioxide from the sea could be the key to capturing tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

Experts at Newcastle University, UK, have discovered that in the presence of a nickel catalyst, CO2 can be converted rapidly and cheaply into the harmless, solid mineral, calcium carbonate.

This discovery ... has the potential to revolutionize the way we capture and store carbon enabling us to significantly reduce CO2 emissions -- the key greenhouse gas responsible for climate change. [emphasis mine]

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Could this nickel catalyst process be combined with Metal Organic Framework materials for the initial capture? Or are they incompatible?

Carbon Sponge Could Soak Up Coal Emissions

Emissions from coal power stations could be drastically reduced by a new, energy-efficient material that adsorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide, then releases it when exposed to sunlight.

... scientists for the first time discovered a photosensitive metal organic framework (MOF) -- a class of materials known for their exceptional capacity to store gases. This has created a powerful and cost-effective new tool to capture and store, or potentially recycle, carbon dioxide.

By utilising sunlight to release the stored carbon, the new material overcomes the problems of expense and inefficiency associated with current, energy-intensive methods of carbon capture. Current technologies use liquid capture materials that are then heated in a prolonged process to release the carbon dioxide for storage.


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