University of Toledo professor Abdul-Majeed Azad believes a new paradigm is needed as the science community considers how to deal with the growing amount and threat of CO2
Azad’s approach is fairly simple: If a humidified stream of CO2 is run over the right catalyst, a mix of CO and H2 (syngas) results. Then, there are at least two routes to beneficially use these products. One route is to send these gases into a solid oxide fuel cell stack to generate power and heat. The second route is to use the syngas as a precursor for manufacturing valuable organic compounds via a 90-year-old method known as the Fischer-Tropsch process.
Interestingly, Azad’s group has shown that if magnetite – an abundant waste product of the steel industry – is used as a reaction mediator, it is converted by the CO2– H2O stream into maghemite, a strong ferroelectric material that can be processed into magnets.
In this video, Azad discusses some of these concepts and he and his group show the operations of an small-scale demonstration of a CO2-magnetite-SOFC utilization system.