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Published on : Jun 27, 2018

In a bid to limit global temperatures to rise by 2 degrees, this will not only require curbing carbon emissions but also removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, says a new study. This has drawn interest in negative emission technologies.

A new study assesses the effectiveness of recently described methods to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Electrogeochemical process as it is known generates hydrogen that can be used as fuel and releases by-products that can help prevent ocean acidification. This method open up avenues for negative emissions energy production.

Electrogeochemical Process Offers Two-pronged Benefits

Electrogeochemical process involves use of electricity from a renewable source of energy for electrolysis of saline water to produce hydrogen and oxygen, along with reactions comprising abundant minerals to generate a solution that soaks and retains carbon dioxide strongly from the atmosphere. The research team also developed several other related methods, all of which are related to electrochemistry, carbonate, saline water, or silicate minerals.

All of these methods offer two-pronged benefit - reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide and adding alkalinity to the ocean. The process works by converting carbon dioxide into dissolved mineral bicarbonate, which already is in abundance in the ocean. It also helps thwart acidification.

So far, the negative emissions method that has drawn most attention is biomass energy plus carbon capture and storage (BECCS). It comprises cropping trees and other bioenergy crops, burning biomass as fuel for power plants, capture of emissions, and underground burying of concentrated carbon dioxide.

BECCS is costly and energy intensive. The electrochemical process of hydrogen generation serves to provide a more efficient and increased capacity method of producing energy with negative emissions.