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May 31, 2016 AT 2:54 pm

Baking Soda Could be Key to Curbing Climate Change

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New research in California reveals that baking soda could be the secret ingredient in fighting climate change. The existing technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere have been found both expensive and awkward, but incorporating baking soda into the mix could drastically reduce costs.

From the BBC:

At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California, they believe that baking soda could be a key ingredient for curbing the carbon.

They’ve created microcapsules that have a liquid solution of sodium carbonate (also known as soda ash) at their core, surrounded by a polymer shell that allows CO2 to flow through.

The tiny blue balls sit in an aqueous solution which prevents them from sticking together. When they come in contact with CO2 they change colour to a yellowish brown. Exposure of sodium carbonate to CO2 and water creates sodium bicarbonate – otherwise known as baking soda.

“The whole idea is that by making these individual capsules you can have a dramatically increased surface area, so if they clump together you can decrease that,” said researcher Congwang Ye.


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