Molten Salts – A Revolutionary New Carbon Capture Method?

Molten Salts - A Revolutionary New Carbon Capture Method? - Carbon Herald
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New research suggests molten salts may provide a unique and superior carbon capture media for industrial CO2 emitters. 

Energy-intensive industries, such as steel, bioenergy, hydrogen, cement and others generate highly concentrated carbon dioxide at very high temperatures.

However, most existing carbon capture methods require the CO2 emissions to be cooled significantly before they can be captured and stored away or utilized. 

Molten salts, in contrast, may help skip that step altogether, as they are capable of absorbing the greenhouse gas at temperatures as high as 500-700°C at their source point.

Specifically, molten ionic sodium borates and lithium substituted versions have been found to be for carbon capture at such high temperatures.

Relevant: Researchers Find Novel, Cheaper Carbon Capture Method

The chemical reaction that occurs between the sodium salt of boric acid (Na3BO3), considered most favorable for the purpose of carbon capture, results in sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) and sodium metaborate (NaBO2).

The reaction can later be reversed to desorb the carbon dioxide and regenerate the sodium orthoborate feedstock by condensing the steam.

In addition to eliminating the extra step of cooling the CO2 before it can be absorbed, molten salts have been found to be incredibly effective and absorb 99.9% of CO2 they come into contact with. 

Read more: Nanotechnology Shows High Carbon Capture Potential

The reproducibility and durability of the whole process are reportedly also very high.

And thanks to the availability and relatively low cost of molten salts, this method has great commercial potential. 

In fact, it is the foundation of carbon capture company Mantel.

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