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WORLD BREAKTHROUGH: Scientists Turn CO2 Back Into Coal

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A discovery we should all be excited about: Scientists have found a way of turning CO2 back in to solid coal at room temperature, a promising technological innovation for climate change mitigation.

It was in Melbourne that it first happened, the RMIT university research team deciphered a way of capturing the Carbon using liquid metal hydrolysis to create solid coal flakes. The novel discovery was first published in Nature Communications and has been hailed as a permanent way to remove the CO2 provoking climatic warming.

The more one studies energy generation in depth, the more one comes to realise how reliant individuals are on external sources for their basic comforts. Every time a room is warmed or hot water boiled, there is no escaping the fact that the use of that energy has great consequences to the wider world. Yet, no individual is held accountable. Governments bear the brunt of ensuring energy security.

Carbon capture and storage has been key on the agenda of scientific research since the discovery that CO2 causes global warming. Fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) remain an essential part of our energy mix, with the huge advantage of being able to respond to changes in energy demand. Renewables, though use is steadily rising, are not currently at the capacity to provide a baseline energy, largely due to intermittent supply (ie wind, solar). Therefore, scientists have even been searching for solutions.

Further research is still required. However, the promising innovation has shown the power of Science and given a new hope for our future, and that of the next generations.

 

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Anna Ray

Environment Editor 2018-19

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