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23rd May 2022 (5 Topics)

Battery-like device that captures carbon dioxide while charging


  • Researchers have developed a low-cost device that can selectively capture carbon dioxide gas while it charges.
    • Then, when it discharges, the carbon dioxide can be released in a controlled way and collected to be reused or disposed of responsibly.


About the Device

  • The supercapacitor device is of the size of a coin, and is made in part from sustainable materials including coconut shells and seawater.
  • The supercapacitor consists of two electrodes of positive and negative charge.
  • An alternating the current between the plates from a negative to a positive voltage will help to capture CO2 and extend the charging time.
  • This improved the supercapacitor’s ability to capture carbon.
  • The supercapacitor, works like a rechargeable battery could help power carbon capture and storage technologies at much lower cost.
  • The most advanced carbon capture technologies currently require large amounts of energy and are expensive.
  • Need- around 35 billion tonnes of CO2 are released into the atmosphere per year and solutions are urgently needed to eliminate these emissions and address the climate crisis. The most advanced carbon capture technologies currently require large amounts of energy and are expensive.

Battery vs supercapacitor

  • A supercapacitor is similar to a rechargeable battery but the main difference is in how the two devices store charge.
  • A battery uses chemical reactions to store and release charge, whereas a supercapacitor does not rely on chemical reactions.
  • Instead, it relies on the movement of electrons between electrodes, so it takes longer to degrade and has a longer lifespan.

How supercapacitor device will help?

  • The Supercapacitors can’t store as much charge as batteries, but for something like carbon capture we would prioritise durability.
  • The best part is that the materials used to make supercapacitors are cheap and abundant.
  • The electrodes are made of carbon, which comes from waste coconut shells.
  • The materials used that are inert, that don’t harm environments, and that we need to dispose of less frequently.
  • For example, the CO2 dissolves into a water-based electrolyte which is basically seawater.
  • The supercapacitor both captures carbon and stores energy.
  • The project has been contributed by developing a gas analysis technique for the device.
  • The technique uses a pressure sensor that responds to changes in gas adsorption in the electrochemical device.
  • It will help to narrow down the precise mechanism at play inside the supercapacitor when CO2 is absorbed and released.
  • Understanding these mechanisms, the possible losses, and the routes of degradation are all essential before the supercapacitor can be scaled up.

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