Researchers develop effective solid carbonation module to recycle industrial exhaust gas and byproducts

By Park Sae-jin Posted : November 23, 2020, 16:20 Updated : November 23, 2020, 17:33

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SEOUL --Researchers from a South Korean state research institute have developed a solid carbonation module device that can extract carbon dioxide from industrial exhaust gas and byproducts to create calcium carbonate more effectively than conventional methods. The device is expected to help a changeover to a zero-emission energy system.

Calcium carbonate, which is a chemical compound with the formula CaCO3, can be used for medication or as an ingredient of cement. It is also widely used in the agricultural sector for neutralizing acidic soil.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) said on November 23 that its research team led by Koh Dong-yeun has developed a solid carbonation technology that uses a hollow fiber module based on an ultrapermeable membrane synthesized with the polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIM-1).

"The technology helps power plants, steel mills and cement makers, which emit a lot of greenhouse gas, to increase their competitiveness by reducing emission and recycling resources," Koh was quoted as saying. The research paper was published on the website of ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, a peer-reviewed journal.

Koh's team said the newly-developed hollow fiber module is up to 20 times smaller than conventional devices and 1.5 times more efficient. The modular device filters and collects carbon dioxide (CO2) through a membrane and creates solid carbonate via a continuous chemical reaction.

The device can be connected to factory chimneys or use gas extracted from industrial byproducts such as steel byproducts to collect CO2 and reduce greenhouse emissions. Globally, byproducts are recycled and recreated into other materials to reduce operational costs and greenhouse gas emissions. In November, POSCO E&C, a construction arm of South Korea's top steelmaker POSCO, joined hands with S-Oil, a refinery company, and two other domestic companies to develop commercialize high-performance concrete using steel and oil byproducts.

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