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Carbon Capture and Conversion using Engineered Solar-Powered Biocomposite Foams

 

Photosynthetic microbes such as microalgae and cyanobacteria have been shown in various studies to capture CO2 at a higher rate than terrestrial plants and also be able to capture CO2 from flue gas. Commercial algae pond systems have many disadvantages such as difficulty of maintenance, large land requirement, high water consumption and cost. Many researchers moved toward the development of closed systems (i.e. photobioreactors), but their applications are still expensive and are difficult to scale up. In this research project, it is proposed to develop “biocomposite foams” utilising the photosynthetic microbes to effectively capture CO2 emissions from flue gas, provide biosecurity and have a long operational lifetime as well as being manufactured from low cost materials as a solution for large scale carbon capture and storage. Biocomposite foams will be manufactured and their performance will be investigated including parameters of CO2 concentration and light intensity. Algae cells, solid supports, binders and coating methods, which are four key elements to develop the biocomposite foams, will be explored. Initially, the chosen algae species will be immobilised onto the selected solid materials. The biocomposite foams will then be tested to investigate the CO2 uptake rate in a batch system and foam which offers the best performance of CO2 absorption efficiency will be determined. In addition, an effective coating method will be formulated to seal and immobilise the cells within the foam structure. Lastly, the performances of biocomposite foams for capturing and storing CO2 will be tested under continuous process.

 

 

 

 Last modified: 04-Aug-2017