To learn more about CO2 conversion

A new process for the conversion of CO2 into lactic acid during the biological production of hydrogen through the bacterial fermentation of organic waste has been developed and patented by the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the CNR of Pozzuoli. The results are published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy and ChemSusChem
A new biotechnological method for the capture of carbon dioxide and the synthesis of hydrogen through the fermentation of organic materials including waste, which could have an industrial use for the production of renewable and eco-sustainable energy, has been conceived and patented by a direct team by Angelo Fontana at the research laboratories of the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the National Research Council (Icb-Cnr) of Pozzuoli. The study appeared in the ‘International Journal of Hydrogen Energy’ and is being published in ‘ChemSunChem’.
“The method to produce biogas is called Clf, Capnophilic Lactic Fermentation, and uses an extremophilic bacterium (that is, which lives and proliferates in extreme environmental conditions), Thermotoga neapolitan, which grows to 80 degrees in the marine sulphates off the coast of Flegreo coast, explains Fontana. “Thermotoga cells behave like micro reactors capable of producing hydrogen from fermentation of organic substrates, including waste material from the agro-food industry, allowing them to be transformed into clean energy”.
An absolutely new mechanism. “Clf represents an unprecedented method that allows you to simultaneously have three advantages: the production of clean energy, the capture of carbon dioxide and the recovery of waste materials”, continues the ICB-Cnr researcher. “The metabolism of the bacterium by taking CO2 and acetic acid releases lactic acid with the complete elimination of CO2, moreover, unlike the classic mechanisms of autotrophic fixation, such as photosynthesis, it does not involve synthesis of compounds of cellular metabolism. Indeed, the use of carbon dioxide stimulates the fermentation speed, resulting in an improvement in the production of hydrogen from which electricity could be directly obtained “.
The advantages deriving from this process are intuitive: “The objective of the work currently underway is scientific, but the results now open the possibility of the industrial application of Capnophilic Lactic Fermentation, considering that there is a world market for the sole production of lactic acid. estimated at approximately 1,200 million dollars in 2010”, concludes Fontana. “The biological production of hydrogen by bacterial fermentation of organic substrates, including many waste materials, is a very hot and highly prospective scientific topic for the production of energy from renewable sources”.
Hydrogen is obtained by electrolysis from water using solar energy (blue hydrogen) other than gray hydrogen which is obtained from fossil fuels.
Biological and / or chemical hydrogen is reacted with CO2 and methane is obtained which the Italian state has already planned to encourage
We are at the research and prototype level. There is still a lot to do:
Discuss with Korean scientists, with colleagues at Georgia Tech in the United States on electricity and hydrogen from CO2, the turning point of the liquid battery.
It is inspired by the role of the ocean in the CO2 cycle, the new system for capturing and using emissions created by Korean and US scientists with whom we will open a new research campaign aimed at the industrialization of the system. Korean scientists in collaboration with colleagues in the US have created an electrochemical device capable of exploiting carbon dioxide to produce electricity and 2 hydrogen. As they explain in an article published on iScience, the technology is based on the operation of a Na-CO2 hybrid cell, a sort of large liquid battery with a specially designed model: the anode, in metallic sodium, is placed in an organic electrolyte, while the cathode is contained in an aqueous solution into which CO2 is injected; the two liquids are separated by a sodium superionic conductor membrane (NASICON). Operation, at least on paper, is simple. When carbon dioxide is injected into the aqueous electrolyte, it reacts with the cathode producing hydrogen ions and carbonic acid. Through an electrochemical reaction these by-products are used to generate electricity and create hydrogen gas. Unlike other designs, the new hybrid cell does not release any CO2 as a gas during normal operation; on the contrary, half of the carbon is recovered from the electrolyte as sodium bicarbonate.