How Can the Production of Carbon Nanofibers Help Stop Global Warming?

Written by Avery Zebrowski | 

What are “carbon nanofibers” and how can they potentially improve the effects of global warming?

In a nutshell, the production of carbon nanofibers could be a method for eliminating CO2 in our atmosphere while simultaneously creating a useful product (i.e., carbon nanofibers) for commercial use.

Carbon nanofibers are a strong, lightweight material with good electrical conductivity that can be used for many things including, building construction and improved lithium-ion batteries. This material was discovered by researchers at George Washington University.

We calculate that with a physical area less than 10% the size of the Sahara Desert, our process could remove enough CO2 to decrease atmospheric levels to those of the pre-Industrial revolution within 10 years. –Dr. Stuart Licht of George Washington University

The production of this material is related to global warming because it has the pleasing side effect of removing CO2 from the air. Carbon nanofibers are made by extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and then transforming that carbon dioxide into nanofibers. This extraction process occurs through a solar powered system that runs a current through a tank full of molten salt. The CO2 dissolves when subjected to heat and a direct current through some electrodes.

This new process is significant because it could (one day) be a solution for reducing large amounts of harmful CO2 in the air. According to lead researcher Dr. Stuart Licht of George Washington University, “We calculate that with a physical area less than 10% the size of the Sahara Desert, our process could remove enough CO2 to decrease atmospheric levels to those of the pre-Industrial revolution within 10 years.”

Right now the process is very small scale and only experimental. However, it is an interesting development that gives us hope that one day, there may be a ways to eliminate CO2 in our atmosphere.

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1Comment
  • Jan Dietrick
    Posted at 08:39h, 29 October

    Thanks for the article on this. It gives me hope.