A company called Skyonic is using sodium hydroxide to turn carbon dioxide into baking soda, with chlorine and hydrogen as by-products; the process
captures 90 percent of the carbon dioxide coming out of smoke stacks and mixes it with sodium hydroxide to make sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The energy required for the reaction to turn the chemicals into baking soda comes from the waste heat from the factory.
“It is cleaner than food-grade (baking soda),” he said.
The system also removes 97 percent of the heavy metals, as well as most of the sulfur and nitrogen compounds, Jones said.
Hmmm … awash in baking soda. This is pretty cool, but don’t we already pretty much do this? We make baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, using the Solvay process developed in the early 19th century, or also this process:
Commercial quantities of baking soda are also produced by this method: soda ash, mined in the form of the ore trona, is dissolved in water and treated with carbon dioxide. Sodium bicarbonate precipitates as a solid from this method:
Na2CO3 + CO2 + H2O → 2 NaHCO3
Still, it’s promising. Plus it takes out metals and acid gases, so it can replace the costly scrubbers that power plants now have to install, as mentioned in the article.