The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has created a new carbon capture system that converts CO2 into methanol. Methanol has many uses across industries, including plastics, paint, and automotive manufacturing. This new technology is the cheapest solution so far and is designed for coal-, gas-, or biomass-fired power plants.
In a recent quote, PNNL chemist David Heldebrant said, “Instead of extracting oil from the ground to make these chemicals, we're trying to do it from CO2 captured from the atmosphere or from coal plants, so it can be reconstituted into useful things. You're keeping carbon alive, so to speak, so it's not just ‘pull it out of the ground, use it once, and throw it away.’ We're trying to recycle the CO2, much like we try to recycle other things like glass, aluminum and plastics.”