There’s no question that greenhouse gas is a detriment to our planet. There’s also no question that carbon fibre is a sought after material for a number of applications. Now, a pair of Canadian researchers from the University of Calgary have found a way to make carbon fibre from greenhouse gas — notably carbon dioxide and methane.
While completing her doctorate in chemical and petroleum engineering at U of C, Mina Zarabian came up with the concept. Pedro Pereira Almao, her professor, then worked hand in hand with her to discover the technique.
“This is a process that turns natural gas and CO2, carbon dioxide, both known as greenhouse gases, into solid carbon nanofibres which can be sold in a brick or powder for a lot of industries that utilize them.
“It can be used everywhere that you can imagine … transportation vehicles to make them lighter and more durable so they can be more fuel efficient.”Mina Zarabian
Zarabian’s method of converting readily available carbon dioxide and methane requires a capture chamber, a piece of metal which acts as a catalyst, along with extreme heat. The carbon dioxide and methane, when heated, form a black residue which is captured.
The researchers hope to see their technology installed at natural gas power plants, providing clean energy and a source of carbon fibre for other uses at the same time. At this time, however, the cost of the technology, as well as the plausibility of building a bigger scale capture and conversion system, is still unknown.
Carbon fibre is often seen in sports and racing cars, from custom hoods to wraps as it has a distinctive look. It also has many other uses due to its lightweight and durable construction. Carbon fibre, albeit fairly expensive, can be used to replace metal components in a number of applications and industries.
What do you think about this new research that has turned greenhouse gasses into carbon nanofibres? Do you think it will take off and potentially help turn greenhouse gasses into something useful on a larger scale? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, or MeWe.Source: Global News