Train cars to capture carbon dioxide
Scientists are not idle when it comes to the fight against global warming. Various methods have already been proposed to capture carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere, one of the causes of the greenhouse effect. In the United States, a company called CO2Rail offers a unique solution. It is about connecting specialized wagons to ordinary trains.
These special cars will use the energy obtained through regenerative braking to power a device that will collect the carbon dioxide produced by the train. This will prevent harmful gas from being released into the atmosphere.
With the global temperature continuing to rise, we are turning more and more to direct CO2 capture technologies. The United States, for example, recently announced that it would invest billions to develop this area.
The energy problem
Generally, CO2 capture installations require a large area of land for constructionbut also a large amount of energy which often comes from renewable sources. The idea of CO2Rail is based on the use of an energy that can be obtained from all types of train.
According to the company, its wagons are designed to collect the energy generated by regenerative braking. This will allow the batteries on board to be recharged while taking advantage of the blast effect of moving trains to avoid the need for fans.
This moving air is redirected to a cylindrical collection chamber. In this room, a chemical process will remove the CO2 and store it in a liquid reservoir that can be emptied. The carbon-free air will be released from the rear of the wagon.
The advantages of the method
According to the researchers behind this new method, each complete braking maneuver of a train generates enough energy to power 20 homes a day. Currently, this energy just dissipates as heat. But if we collected it from all the trains that stop in the world, we would get an amount of energy 105 times higher than that generated by the Hoover Dam in the same period of time.
On the carbon capture side, Professor Peter Styring from the University of Sheffield explains that this technology could capture significant amounts of carbon at much lower costs. It could have an annual productivity of 0.45 gigatons by 2030, 2.9 gigatons by 2050, and 7.8 gigatons by 2075each wagon having an annual capacity of 3,000 tonnes of CO2 captured in the short term.
All the solutions are good to take with regard to the capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, the cost of operations must remain low enough to ensure the feasibility of the project. Using CO2Rail technology would cost a little more than 49 euros per ton of CO2 captured on the long term.