Chemists at #DOE – #ORNLdemonstrate sustainable approach to carbon dioxide capture from air

Chemists at the Department of Energy’s (#DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (#ORNL) have demonstrated a practical, energy-efficient method of capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from air. If deployed at large scale and coupled to geologic storage, the technique may bolster the portfolio of responses to global climate change.

For the recent ORNL study, Williams and Flavien Brethomé mixed amino acids with water to make an aqueous sorbent to grab CO2 from air. Amino acids are safer than caustic sodium or potassium hydroxides or smelly amines, the sorbents used in industrial CO2 scrubbers.

The scientists put their aqueous sorbent in a household humidifier to maximize contact between air and sorbent and thus speed CO2 uptake. Once absorbed into the liquid, the CO2 formed a bicarbonate salt.

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#China’s Grip on #RareEarths May Have Proven Too Strong for #Trump



The #US appears to have shelved its plan to levy tariffs on a critical collection of minerals used in everything from hybrid vehicles to electronic gadgets and military hardware.

Rare earths including #Scandium and #Yttrium are absent from the latest list of about $200 billion of #Chinese goods on which the #Trump administration plans to impost duties from next week. They were among a number of items scrubbed from the preliminary target list released in July along with car seats and Bluetooth devices.

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#Nickel producers eye #Indonesia to plug into EV battery market


By Fergus Jensen

JAKARTA, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Several global metals producers have set their sights on Indonesia’s nickel reserves to tap an expected surge in demand for the metal for electric vehicle batteries.

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd (SMM) said on Thursday that it and nickel miner PT Vale Indonesia are conducting a feasibility study to build a nickel processing project in Pomalaa, Southeast Sulawesi.

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#Nickel price to benefit from short supply, strong steel demand through 2019


#Nickel, which recently hit its lowest since December, could climb as high as $16 000 a tonne by the end of 2018 and $18 000 a year later – #Macquarie Capital.

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#Congo plans to build special economic zone for #Cobalt users


#Congo is the world’s biggest source of #Cobalt, which is used to make rechargeable batteries in electric cars manufactured by companies including #Volkswagen. The country also produces more than a quarter of the world’s #Tantalum, used in Apple iPhones and other smartphones.

The Democratic Republic of Congo plans to establish special economic zones for companies that manufacture goods from the country’s minerals.

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#CO2 Capture Could Be Super Cheap by 2040s if the Path of Batteries Followed.

It’s been a rough road for carbon capture. But are we underestimating its long-term potential?

Earlier this summer, a #Harvard researcher said he can potentially pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere for as little as $100 per metric ton. The news reinvigorated many people who had resigned themselves to an ever-warming planet. The announcement also received push back from some scientists and environmentalists who fear creation of a “moral hazard” if experimentation undermines the political will to halt emissions and the subsequent technology turns out to not work well enough to halt global warming.

Nevertheless, money is already flowing into this “negative emission technology” research. #Microsoft co-founder #BillGates and others are supporting at least three demonstration projects — in #Iceland, #British #Columbia and #Switzerland — that strive to take carbon out of the air, and more investment is on the way. The #US tax code has also improved the risk profile of carbon sequestration projects in the United States with new Section 45Q tax credits offering up to $50 per metric ton and lifting a pre-existing annual cap on emissions.

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#NASA asks public to help astronauts survive carbon dioxide on #Mars


#NASA has launched a public competition that asks people to find solutions to turn carbon dioxide into molecules that would help astronauts endure the harsh atmosphere on the #RedPlanet. Called the “CO2 Conversion Challenge”, the competition asks public to discover ways to develop novel synthesis technologies that use carbon dioxide as the sole #Carbon source to generate molecules that can be used to manufacture a variety of products, including “substrates” for use in microbial bioreactors.

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