So, which came first, the chicken or the hydrogen? This is a question being posed by two researchers at Ohio State University. Professor L. S. Fan and doctoral student Mahesh Iyer have discovered how to produce hydrogen with the help of eggshells.
While working on extracting hydrogen through the gasification of coal, the two researchers needed a way to absorb the carbon dioxide that was being produced as a byproduct in the process. It so happens that eggshells are high in calcium carbonate, the same active ingredient in Tums or Rolaids, and are useful for absorbing acidic gas.
The calcium carbonate in the eggshells will absorb 78-percent of the carbon dioxide making it one of the most effective absorption compounds ever found. One of the current plans for producing hydrogen from coal call for the sequestration of carbon dioxide in deep oil wells many miles out to sea, costing millions in transportation and storage.
If eggshells and other calcium carbonate compounds prove viable, then this would greatly reduce the costs associated sequestering carbon dioxide. When it comes to dealing with coal gas, how do you spell relief?