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
- Singapore to have world’s largest ocean-based carbon dioxide removal plant
Equatic-1, a $20 million ocean-based carbon removal plant in Singapore, will remove carbon generated by 850 people annually.
- GOLDSTEIN: The carbon tax is going up and so are emissions
Emissions rose to 37.2 billion tonnes ... But the PBO says when the negative impact of the carbon tax on the economy is factored in, 60% of households pay more in carbon taxes than they receive ...
- Global Briefing: Germany proposes 2060 negative emissions goal
Germany sets out new plans to boost carbon removals, New York revives two offshore wind farm projects, and Brazil unveils a major new green finance programme ...
- Brian Werner: Biofuels are part of the clean-air solution
the renewable fuels industry in Minnesota is rapidly on a path to net-zero or net-negative carbon emissions by 2050. Any approach that insists on only one fuel or technology as a silver bullet ...
- Tag Archives: Negative Emissions Facility
Vattenfall is progressing with its initiative to establish a facility in Jordbro, Stockholm, capable of capturing up to 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from a biomass-fueled heat plant. This ...
Go deeper with Bing News on:
CO2 removal from the atmosphere
- Tech Talk: CO2 can produce cleaner fuels
In the battle to reduce global CO2 emissions, the emphasis has so far been on making less of it, but a few automotive companies are looking at ways to remove the gas directly from the atmosphere as ...
- Concerns over sustainability of carbon removal are growing. And this is the reason.
To simply put, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is a very expensive product that, strictly speaking, no one needs right now. Its not a widget; its waste management for invisible garbage, a public good ...
- UCLA and Equatic to build world’s largest ocean-based plant for carbon removal
Now, on the heels of the successful launch and operation of two pilots in Los Angeles and Singapore last spring, UCLA and Equatic are gearing up for their next phase: a $20 million full-scale ...
- Field trials reveal crushed rock boosts carbon removal and improves crop yields
Crushed rock can remove about 3–4 metric tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare per year and improve crop yields, results of a pioneering study have shown.
- PUB to build world’s largest facility to help remove CO2 from ocean
When fully operational in 2025, it can remove 3,650 tonnes of CO2 from the ocean yearly. Read more at straitstimes.com.