Apr 072011
 

Students at Michigan Technological University have designed and constructed their own mini-smokestack to showcase a new method for scrubbing carbon dioxide from emissions.

The approach is similar to SkyMine technology, but instead of producing sodium bicarbonate as a byproduct, it turns captured carbon into a solid material that could have applications as a construction material.

The students are being discreet with some of the detail due to patents pending but have demonstrated a percolating 11 foot bench model. The smokestack is packed with glass beads, where a proprietary liquid drips down from the top as carbon dioxide bubbles up from the bottom. As the gas floats to the top, the CO2 is soaked up by the liquid, halving the emissions. The captured carbon reformed into a solid may then be sold and used as an construction material – the exact nature of which hasn’t been revealed – with the remaining liquid recycled into the process once more.

The team is refining the smokestack design to remove even more carbon dioxide to give industry more benefit and the next step is to realize plans for a pilot plant to be built in collaboration with Carbontec Energy Corporation.

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