Australia: RMIT University in Melbourne, Victoria, has developed a new method of carbon capture, called the bubble column method. The method uses liquid gallium at 100 – 120°C, through which flue gas is bubbled. This activates the CO2, leading to oxidation of the metal. The captured carbon accumulates on the surface of the pool.
Gallium is a by-product of bauxite and zinc ores mining. The United States Geological Service (USGS) has estimated its global reserves in these ores alone as 1Mt.
Project co-lead Torben Daeneke said “Turning CO2 into a solid avoids potential issues of leakage and locks it away securely and indefinitely. Because our process does not use very high temperatures, it would be feasible to power the reaction with renewable energy.” He added “Ideally the carbon we make could be turned into a value-added product, contributing to the circular economy and enabling the carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to pay for itself over time.”
The Australian Government plans to invest US$719m in low emissions technologies by 2050 under its Net Zero Plan.