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Sea Urchin Nickel “Trick” Key to Capturing Carbon?

It seems too easy. Newcastle University researchers have discovered that sea urchins use the metal nickel to turn carbon dioxide into shell or chalk, reports Matt McGrath for BBC News, and the process could serve as a model for a carbon capture-and-storage system. The researchers, including physicists and chemists, were studying sea-urchin larvae. McGrath reports, “Working with extremely small nickel particles, the researchers
found that when they added them to a solution of carbon dioxide in water, the nickel completely removed the CO2.” Most systems now rely on storing carbon underground in rock formations; leakage is a concern. Another expensive system involves using carbon anhydrase. The nickel approach is cost-effective – because the metal is magnetic, it can be collected and reused. Calcium carbonate already makes up 4 percent of the earth’s
surface, notes McGrath. If the nickel technology works, the world will be hunting for ways to use calcium carbonate. The discovery suggests that small animals and highly specific research can deliver answers to global challenges. – YaleGlobal

Sea Urchin Nickel “Trick” Key to Capturing Carbon?

Research suggests that the natural ability of sea urchins to absorb CO2 could be a model for an effective carbon capture-and-storage system
Matt McGrath
BBC News, 18 February 2013
 Click here for the article in BBC News.

 Matt McGrath is environment correspondent, BBC News.

Source:BBC News
Rights:BBC © 2013