Mark A. Cappelli and Reginald Mitchell, Stanford University–Mechanical Engineering; Tsuyohito Ito, Osaka University–Graduate School Of Engineering
When the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, excess electricity created by solar panels and windmills can be used to remove carbon dioxide from the environment and then make carbon monoxide, which can generate electricity when power supplies are low. Previous attempts at breaking the carbon-oxygen bond have consumed too much energy for an efficient storage system. This project is examining the fundamentals of splitting CO2 under supercritical temperature and pressure to form CO. The researchers hope to establish that the process can recover much of the energy used in breaking down the CO2 and form the basis for a carbon-neutral way to store renewable power.
Publications and media:
"Nanosecond-pulsed discharge plasma splitting of carbon dioxide" IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science 43 (2015): 1002-1007.