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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carbon dioxide to building materials

MIT biological engineers,  have found a way to convert carbon-dioxide emissions to useful building materials, using genetically altered yeast.

Every year, about 30 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide are pumped into the Earth’s atmosphere from power plants, cars and other industrial sources (such as cement plants) that rely on fossil fuels. Scientists who want to mitigate carbon dioxide’s effects on global climate have started experimenting with storing the gas underground, a process known as carbon sequestration. However, there are still many unknowns surrounding the safety and effectiveness of that strategy.

Genetically engineering ordinary baker’s yeast, Angela Belcher, the W.M. Keck Professor of Energy and two of her graduate students, Roberto Barbero and Elizabeth Wood, have created a process that can convert carbon dioxide into carbonates that could be used as building materials. Their process, which has been tested in the lab, can produce about two pounds of carbonate for every pound of carbon dioxide captured. Next, they hope to scale up the process so it could be used in a power plant or industrial factory.

The team plans to try scaling up the process to handle the huge volumes of carbon dioxide produced at fossil-fuel-burning power plants. If the process is successfully industrialized, a potential source for the mineral ions needed for the reaction could be the briny water produced as a byproduct of desalination.

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1 comment:

metal beads said...

This is great news. Using sustainable building materials can really help us save energy and money.