Author Topic: Recapturing elements from combustion  (Read 758 times)

Vanadium Gryllz

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Recapturing elements from combustion
« on: March 20, 2018, 03:03:39 pm »
Ok so it's possible to capture CO2 from combustion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_capture_and_storage

And it's possible to turn CO2 into ethanol: https://phys.org/news/2017-09-solar-to-fuel-recycles-co2-ethanol-ethylene.html

But is it possible to capture other combustion by-products as well? Rare earth metals and other expensive elements? If it was I could see combustion becoming a much more viable 'recycling' method.

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Faust

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Re: Recapturing elements from combustion
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 04:18:57 pm »
In some cases wood ash byproduct can be reused as fertilizers. Beyond that plastic burning or other hazardous gas emissions are harder to reclaim, the problem is the cost of doing it at scale.
Metal reclamation tends to be specific to those, gold and platinum are already recovered but comes with other byproducts.

But even if it's not recyclable, storing solid carbon instead of just burning waste should be used as much as possible if it can limit our environmental footprint.
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rong

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Re: Recapturing elements from combustion
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 02:28:27 am »
I don't think you can reclaim, say, aluminum - but you could probly capture Aluminum Oxide (combustion is oxidization)

i did see a neat video where some folks reclaimed a teeny tiny bit of platinum from sweeping up a section of highway though - since platinum is what's getting burned out of your catalytic converter.

it was a lengthy process and I think they determined it was not a cost effective means of recycling platinum.
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Vanadium Gryllz

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Re: Recapturing elements from combustion
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2018, 10:00:54 am »


But even if it's not recyclable, storing solid carbon instead of just burning waste should be used as much as possible if it can limit our environmental footprint.

Can you expand on this? You mean literally just stockpiling plastics etc. rather than burning them because at least you're not kicking off all those fumes?
Problem is you're locking biomass and other resources into unusable forms like this. Granted you aren't necessarily making things worse other than the cost of storage and/or pollution through large or micro/nano sized plastic particles.
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Faust

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Re: Recapturing elements from combustion
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 01:49:47 pm »
Not quite,

In burning the waste, carbon scrubbers can trap Co2 in solid mass instead of pumping it into the environment. That solid matter can then be buried so we can have two forms of hazardous waste to kill our descendants with: Nuclear and Carbon.
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Vanadium Gryllz

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Re: Recapturing elements from combustion
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 02:19:46 pm »
Right so the reason I mentioned turning CO2 into ethanol/ethylene in the OP is that from there you can pretty much make any plastics you like rather than having to bury it.

Doesn't sound like the technology is quite scalable yet and of course you still need energy/catalysts/other reagents to get from A to B so it might never by economically viable.

So what does closing the loop on plastic recycling look like? For some thermoplastics we can melt and reform them though you usually end up with a loss of properties after going through this a few times. Biodegradable plastics are kind of an oxymoron in that you're trying to create something with long lifespan but that's going to break down upon command. Thermoset plastics are even more difficult in that once they are in a certain 'set' state you can't really do anything but burn them or grind them down.

I've been hearing some ideas about mycoremediation recetntly that  got me thinking about finding some super saprotrophic mushrooms that can break down cellulose and lignin and seeing if they can adapt to breaking down similarly structured plastics.
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