A team of international researchers have developed a new, cost-effective method of generating electricity while also reducing air pollution.
The new method uses a combination of crop residue, such as sugar cane mulch, and coal in a chemical engineering process known as gasification to generate electricity.
When used in conjunction with a carbon capture and storage technology, the process generates electricity at no-net production of emissions.
“We used a simulation platform to model and assess the impacts of combining this gasification with carbon capture and storage technologies to generate an environmentally friendly power source,” University of Queensland’s PhD canidate and research team member Liang Cao said.
“The model proved we could not only generate electricity without carbon emissions, but could also remove existing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”
Mr Cao said carbon negative technologies could help countries achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius.
“We focused our modelling and analysis on China, as it is the largest manufacturing country in the world and is facing serious problems around air pollution and huge carbon dioxide emissions,” he said.
“Our paper provides critical insights for designing a strategy in China to harness air-quality benefits while laying the foundation for achieving negative carbon emissions in the long run.”