Tuesday, September 27

As it speeds along the tracks, the carbon capture train concept might purify the air.

According to a news release, CO2 Rail, a train startup based in the United States, intends to remove carbon from the air as its modified train carriages travel throughout the nation, eliminating the need for big facilities to do so.

A simple way to lower the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is through direct carbon capture. The trapped carbon can then be crushed and stored underground or used for other processes like producing medicinal components.

Currently, massive amounts of land and energy are needed and expensive technology is being used to directly absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Because of this, scientists at CO2 rail and the University of Toronto have developed a brand-new technique that can use the current rail network to absorb carbon from the atmosphere as passenger and freight trains travel their regular routes.carbon train

What is the technology’s mechanism?
The researchers intend to use specially constructed train cars with substantial air intake apertures. The use of fans, which are typically used by stationary direct carbon capture systems, will not be necessary because this will be done when the train is moving at a high speed, saving a considerable amount of energy.

The train cars will have compartments to capture carbon dioxide, which will subsequently be concentrated and kept till the train in a liquid reservoir. The back or bottom of the train car will release the carbon dioxide-free air back into the atmosphere.

The onboard CO2 reservoir is emptied into a typical CO2 tank car situated at that station every twelve hours at crew change or fueling stops, according to E. Bachman, the company’s founder, in an email correspondence with Interesting Engineering. “When enough of these tank cars have been filled, a train will be built, and maybe up to 10,000 tons of collected CO2 will be transported there either directly by rail to geological sequestration locations or as a value-added feedstock into the circular carbon economy. This shouldn’t be too difficult because engineers need to rotate about every eight hours and CO2Rail vehicles were made to run continuously for about 24 hours before needing to be unloaded.”
The onboard CO2 reservoir is emptied into a typical CO2 tank car situated at that station every twelve hours at crew change or fueling stops, according to E. Bachman, the company’s founder, in an email correspondence with Interesting Engineering. “When enough of these tank cars have been filled, a train will be built, and maybe up to 10,000 tons of collected CO2 will be transported there either directly by rail to geological sequestration locations or as a value-added feedstock into the circular carbon economy. This shouldn’t be too difficult because engineers need to rotate about every eight hours and CO2Rail vehicles were made to run continuously for about 24 hours before needing to be unloaded.”carbon train

using regenerative braking to power
In a traditional braking system, heat is emitted into the atmosphere as a result of friction caused by the application of the brakes. “We’re not talking about a tiny quantity of energy,” said Bachman. “Every entire braking maneuver provides enough energy to power 20 typical houses for a day.”

Trains can turn this into electrical energy and utilize it to power the direct carbon capture process by employing a regenerative braking system. According to the experts, a typical freight train could eliminate 6,000 tonnes or around 6,613 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

The approach is more economical as well as more environmentally beneficial because it has a sustainable onboard power supply. According to Bachman, “the technique is not only commercially possible, but financially desirable” because the predicted cost at scale is less than $50 per tonne.
Researchers are eager to use the rail network since it is an infrastructure that already exists, and because railroads are more efficient than vehicles on the road like trucks, their deployment to directly absorb carbon might further reduce carbon emissions. “You can improve the effectiveness of the overall transportation system by increasing train utilization.”
Additional advantages of using the rail system include freedom from zoning and building permissions, which are necessary for large-scale capture techniques. These specially designed vehicles will eventually blend in with all train systems and go unnoticed by the general public as they become a standard feature.

The study’s findings were released in the journal Joule.

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