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In the near future, wind turbines could be able to not only provide the world with renewable energy but also capture carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into other materials like for example concrete.
Researchers at the Purdue University in Indiana have been studying if and how turbines can suck contaminated air into their wake and funnel it into the earth for safe removal. And according to Euronews.next the height of wind turbines give them an advantage to other methods of removing CO2.
“As large, power-generating wind turbines rotate, they cause turbulence that pulls air down into the wakes behind them”, mechanical engineer Luciano Castillo of Purdue explained to Science News.
“It’s an effect that can concentrate carbon dioxide enough to make capture feasible, particularly near large cities”.
The researchers plan on presenting their new system at a meeting of the American Physical Society’s division of Fluid Dynamics in Indianapolis on November 21.
So how would this device work? According to a factsheet issued by Purdue University’s Office of Technology Commercialization it would use a liquid filter system to capture CO2 from the air pushed across the wind turbine. This would absorb CO2 into a solution of water and calcium hydroxide.
When the CO2 is absorbed, it will be combined with the calcium hydroxide to generate calcium carbonate that can subsequently be used in the creation of concrete and other materials.
The researchers believe this method could have a significant impact on “closing the loop” concrete production, which accounts for eight percent of worldwide CO2 emissions.
One of the downsides of this method is that it has to rely on wind turbine energy to truly be a carbon neutral solution.