“Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." 

- Albert Einstein

A New Form of Carbon Capture: Researchers Suggest CO2 Could be Converted Back to Coal

Kate Byng-Hall Reveals New Innovative Ideas Supporting Carbon Capture

Photo by Dexter Fernandes

Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have devised a way in which carbon dioxide released during industrial processes can be converted back into a solid product at room temperature. 

The Institute has said that turning CO2 back into coal is like “turning back the emissions clock”, and could mitigate the damaging effects of fossil fuels on the environment.

Carbon Capture

A process is already in use at some powerplants called carbon capture and storage (CCS).  This process aims to capture CO2 either before or after the combustion of fossil fuels, converting it into a liquid-like form which is then transported either by pipeline or tanker to offshore storage sites where it remains underground permanently.  

While this method does subvert the greenhouse gas from polluting our atmosphere, it comes with its drawbacks.  CCS is very expensive: it costs approximately $2 billion to equip a powerplant with the necessary infrastructure to carry out the process, and then a further $1.7 million for every kilometre the CO2 has to be transported.  This means that plants have to be situated relatively close to storage sites for the process to be worth carrying out: it’s not