January 2nd, 2015 by Tina Casey
Well, the US Navy already does rule the seas, but this contraption could make the Navy even rulier than it is now. It’s a device for capturing carbon dioxide from seawater, and it also generates hydrogen as a byproduct, which means that you have your two basic ingredients for making your own fuel-on-the-go. That’s good news for the Navy, and that thing about the hydrogen could also mean there’s another pathway to sustainable hydrogen for fuel cell electric vehicles.
The real beauty of the device, dubbed the Electrolytic Cation Exchange Module, is that the whole process takes place without requiring additional chemicals or creating toxic byproducts. That’s a huge advantage compared to the conventional processes for recovering CO2 from seawater.
This thing crossed our radar back in 2012 and it won a coveted Popular Science “Best of What’s New” award last fall, so let’s check in again and see what we have to look forward to in 2015.
Capturing CO2 And Hydrogen From Seawater
The Electrolytic Cation Exchange Module, or E-CEM for short, has been under development by the US Naval Research Laboratory.
That research passed a significant milestone back in 2009, when researchers modified a standard chlorine dioxide cell and an electro-deionization cell to release CO2 from seawater, and generate hydrogen as a byproduct.