Scientists are working to make wind turbines capture carbon dioxide and use it for cement.
Wind turbines have long been one of the main methods of producing clean energy.
And soon, they might be able to offer a dual function in the fight for our planet, by helping to capture carbon dioxide from the air and use it to make materials like concrete.
Carbon capture projects around the world are enjoying meteoric growth, and this new idea may soon be added to the list as researchers have realised that wind turbines could be used to pull greenhouse gases out of the air - and the main advantage wind turbines have, compared to other methods of CO2 removal, is their sheer height.
Simulations developed by researchers at Purdue University (Indiana, US) have been looking at how turbines can drag polluted air into their wake and funnel it into the ground for safe removal. “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”.
According to Purdue University, the technology would use a liquid filter system that captures CO2 from the air blown across the wind turbine, and then processed to form calcium carbonate, which could then be used for concrete production and other applications.
The researchers say this technology could have a large impact on “closing the loop” concrete production, which accounts for a whopping 8 percent of global CO2 emissions.