A way to utilize baking soda found in most grocery stores to capture carbon dioxide has been discovered by scientists. A new type of carbon capture medium comprising of core shell microcapsules has been a developed by a team from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
A very permeable polymer shell consists in the core-shell microcapsules which is a fluid that contains sodium carbonate solution and reacts with and absorbs carbon dioxide. The main ingredient in baking soda is sodium carbonate.
The capsules work by keeping the liquid inside the core, and enable the carbon dioxide to pass back and forth through the capsule shell. Delivery and release of pharmaceuticals and food flavouring, cosmetics, agriculture etc was controlled by microcapsules till date.
And now, this new discovery may actually be used to prevent the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which occurs due to the use of fossil fuels and other industrial activities. Carbonates could be used, but they turn out to be harmful for the environment. Fluids like monoethanol amine are already being used in programs revolving around carbon capture, but they pose many risks to the environment.
On the plus side, this use of sodium carbonate doesn’t involve any chemical processes and no recycling is needed- it could be used again and again indefinitely.