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A group of South Korean scientists has developed a new carbon dioxide capture
and sequestration (CCS) system that is more efficient than any existing
technology, the science ministry said Tuesday.
The new system, developed by a group from the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), supplies up to 70 percent of its total energy needs from the heat of exhaust gas injected into the system itself, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
Such a self-sufficient mechanism makes the new system at least 20 percent more energy efficient than any of the existing ones in the world, the ministry said.
The research was partly funded by the ministry's Carbon Capture and Sequestration Research Center, which was set up earlier in the year.
What makes the system more unique, as well as more efficient, is a new solution, also developed by the KIER research team, that is used to absorb carbon dioxide, according to the ministry.
The new absorbent, named KIERSOL, is a calcium-based solution that can be infinitely recycled and reused without ever being taken out of the CCS system.
Unlike other absorbents currently in use, KIERSOL, once placed in a CCS system, does not need to be replenished due to its strong resistance to halogen compounds and other substances found in exhaust gas.
KIER will soon set up a test plant with the country's two top automakers -- Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. -- which plan to begin applying the new CCS technology to their plants in 2015, the ministry said.
"The development and (planned) commercialization of the CCS system is very significant, especially when the global competition for carbon capture technology is intensifying," it said in a press release.
"The government believes the technology will also help the country achieve its carbon reduction goal in the future," it added, referring to the country's voluntary program announced in 2009 to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from its business-as-usual levels in 2020.