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Images of particles made from a promising battery cathode material called NMC

Electrochemical Splitting of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy

Mark Cappelli, mechanical engineering; Reginald Mitchell, mechanical engineering; Tsuyohito Ito, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, Japan.

In theory, excess power created by intermittent renewable power can be used to remove CO2 from the environment and extract carbon monoxide, which can later generate electricity when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining. Previous attempts at breaking the carbon-oxygen bond, however, have consumed too much energy for an efficient storage system. This project will examine the fundamentals of splitting CO2 under supercritical temperature and pressure to form CO, which can be used as a fuel to produce electricity as needed. The researchers hope to establish that the process can recover much of the energy used in breaking down the CO2 and form the basis for a carbon-neutral way to store renewable power.