Carbon Dioxide conversion as source for Carbon and Graphite materials

R. Smith
Seerstone Development,
United States

Keywords: CO2, Synthetic Graphite, Carbon Black, Utilization, Carbon Dioxide, Tires, Batteries

Summary:

Seerstone has developed a process to produce solid industrial carbons from CO2 through a thermal catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide and hydrogen yielding a mesophase solid carbon powder and distilled water. This Noyes Process has the potential to upgrade the current global manufacturing of carbon black (70% used in tires) and synthetic graphite (powder graphite dominantly used in batteries, and solid graphite used as electrodes for Electric Arc Furnaces, refractory material, neutron and moderator materials in nuclear reactors, and brake pad linings). The Noyes Process offers a net reduction in carbon intensity and produces a solid carbon powder which can be further processed into synthetic graphite powder or into solid graphite structures. The US is seeing a rapid demand growth for synthetic graphite in both powder and solid form which is being constrained by the supply of petroleum needle coke (an oil-derived material). This demand can now be met from CO2-sourced carbon rather than from non-renewable fossil sources. Seerstone Development is a materials research lab which focuses on reducing the carbon and energy intensity of producing carbons (carbon black, graphite). When the Noyes Process is used to produce the base mesophase carbon, there are no associated CO2 emissions, unlike the current carbon black manufacturing process which has over 2.4 tons of CO2 emitted per ton of carbon black produced from oil. Tire manufacturers are actively seeking greater sustainability levels – Goodyear just announced a Demonstration Tire with 70% sustainable content, more than double the current industry average sustainable content. The mesophase carbon produced by the Noyes Process can be readily graphitized into graphite powder through thermal treatment. This can serve the increasing demand for graphite for batteries (e-vehicles, etc). The same mesophase carbon can also be sintered and thermally treated into solid graphite structures, currently under investigation for use as electrodes in Electric Arc Furnaces for steelmaking and for neutron and moderator materials in next generation nuclear reactors. Seerstone has been investigating the use of eFAST (electric field assisted sintering techniques) to produce these solid graphite structures in a single processing step, potentially providing a 200-fold energy demand reduction over current petroleum needle coke/Acheson Furnace method to produce solid graphite structures. The USGS has declared that graphite is a critical material. The US has no active natural graphite mines. Using CO2 sourced carbon to produce synthetic graphite ensures a secure domestic supply. The Noyes Process can repurpose CO2 from industrial sources into sustainable industrial carbons. Ethanol biorefineries produce over 55M tons of high purity CO2 annually in the US (as of 2019). Using this industrial CO2 waste stream as the Noyes Process carbon feedstock offers strong environmental advantages. It diverts a waste stream of CO2 into commercial industrial carbons, avoiding the use of non-renewable carbon sources (petroleum, coal) to produce these industrial carbons, avoiding the associated CO2 emissions from using non-renewable carbon sources, and providing a durable sequestration of this CO2.