Chemical engineers at Monash University have developed an industrial process to produce acetic acid that uses the excess carbon dioxide(CO2) in the atmosphere, and has a potential to create negative carbon emissions.
Acetic acid is an important chemical used in several industrial processes and is an ingredient in household vinegar, vinyl paints and some glues. Worldwide industrial demand for acetic acid is estimated to be 6.5 million tonnes per year.
This world-first research, published in Nature Communications, shows that acetic acid can be made from captured CO2 using an economical solid catalyst to replace the liquid rhodium or iridium based catalysts currently used.
Liquid catalysts require additional separation and purification processes. Using a solid catalyst made from a production method that doesn’t require further processing also reduces emissions.
Lead researcher Associate Professor Akshat Tanksale said the research could be a widely adopted practice for industry.
“CO2 is over abundant in the atmosphere, and the main cause of global warming and climate change. Even if we stopped all the industrial emissions today, we would continue to see negative impacts of global warming for at least a thousand years as nature slowly balances the excess CO2,” Associate Professor Tanksale said.
“There is an urgent need to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it into products that do not release the captured CO2 back into the atmosphere. Our team is focussed on creating a novel industrially relevant method, which can be applied at the large scale required to encourage negative emissions.”
The research team first created a class of material called the metal organic framework (MOF) which is a highly crystalline substance made of repeating units of iron atoms connected with organic bridges.
They then heated the MOF in a controlled environment to break those bridges, allowing iron atoms to come together and form particles of a few nanometers in size (a nanometer is a billionth of a metre).
These iron nanoparticles are embedded in a porous carbon layer, making them highly active while remaining stable in the harsh reaction conditions. This is the first time an iron based catalyst has been reported for making acetic acid.
From an industrial point of view, the new process will be more efficient and cost effective. From an environmental perspective, the research offers an opportunity to significantly improve current manufacturing processes that pollute the environment.
This means a solution to slow down or potentially reverse climate change while providing economic benefits to the industry from the sales of acetic acid products.
The researchers are currently in the process of developing the process for commercialisation in collaboration with their industry partners as part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for Carbon Utilisation and Recycling.
Original Article: Vinegar could be secret ingredient in fight against climate crisis
More from: Monash University
The Latest Updates from Bing News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Negative carbon emissions
- Oil, gas emissions to be cut more than one-third by 2030 but offset credits allowed
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Ottawa can regulate greenhouse gas emissions but natural resources, and therefore oil and gas production, is solely provincial jurisdiction. That means any ...
- Alberta reacts to federal emissions cap on oil and gas sector
“This announced de facto production cap on Alberta’s oil and gas sector amounts to an intentional attack by the federal government on the economy of Alberta and the financial well-being of millions of ...
- AI’s Climate Impact Goes beyond Its Emissions
“It is important for us to recognize the CO 2 emissions of some of these large AI systems especially,” says Jesse Dodge, a research scientist at the Allen Institute for AI in Seattle. He adds, however ...
- Carbon removal is needed to achieve net zero but has its own climate risks
Net-zero carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions refers to a balance between CO₂ emissions into the atmosphere and CO₂ removals from the atmosphere, such that the net effect on CO₂ levels in the atmosphere is ...
- Oil, gas emissions to be cut more than one-third by 2030: feds
The oil and gas industry will have to cut emissions by more than one-third or buy offset credits ... The government proposed either a cap-and-trade system or an industry-specific carbon price and ...
Go deeper with Bing News on:
CO2 removal from the atmosphere
- Carbon-dioxide removal needs more attention
Few of those who have mouthed commitments to net zero appreciate how central greenhouse-gas removal is to the notion; of those who do, few recognise quite how vast the challenge is. Emission cuts of ...
- Arca Announces $1.25 Million Funding Support from the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy to Capture Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
Arca, a carbon mineralization company, announced that the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) has provided the company with a CDN$1.25M grant.
- Carbon removal policies must consider risks of CO2 removal to meet climate goals, SFU-led study finds
Carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere is essential for limiting global warming levels but may also pose its own climate risks if a holistic, Earth system approach is not considered, a study led ...
- Air Canada Partners With Airbus To Remove Carbon From The Atmosphere
Air Canada and Airbus have formed a sustainable partnership to support the airline's carbon reduction initiatives, using Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) technology. Airbus and 1PointFive ...
- Irish startup spreads concrete dust on Illinois farm field to remove CO2 from the air
The trial The Illinois trial, the first of its kind in the U.S., is one of many efforts to leverage different materials to combat global warming.