Meet CaptureCoat- The Future of Carbon Capture

Saras Agrawal
CaptureCoat
Published in
11 min readMay 1, 2021

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By: Saras Agrawal, Co-Founder of CaptureCoat

Abstract:

Carbon emissions are one of the biggest reasons for global warming, with almost 35 billion tons produced per year. Over the last 20 years we’ve seen smaller scale solutions, like carbon capture facilities. But, these solutions haven’t proven to be scalable and make a large scale impact. That’s what CaptureCoat™ is for. Our solution consists of a photocatylized nanoparticle called Titanium Dioxide, when mixed with gold nanoparticles, and latex adhesive, creates a carbon capturing nanomaterial paint that can be used on roads, housing, and cars.

Problem:

Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas, responsible for about three-quarters of emissions. It can linger in the atmosphere for thousands of years. In 2018, carbon dioxide levels reached 411 parts per million at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Atmospheric Baseline Observatory, the highest monthly average ever recorded. This high amount of carbon dioxide then causes climate change by trapping heat. Extreme weather, food supply disruptions, and increased wildfires are other effects of climate change caused by CO2. This has been one of the largest problems of the 21st century, and something we wanted to solve.[1]

Current Solutions:

Mechanical Carbon Capture

This solution consists of using different solutions, such as using solvent filters on industrial chimneys, using turbines to suck carbon into facilities that store it.

Planting Trees

This solution is pretty self-explanatory, but initiatives like the Arbor Day Foundation are on the quest to continue to plant trees across the globe. Trees can absorb 48 lb of CO2 on an annual basis, each according to the TenMillionTrees. This high absorption rate, along with natural additions to ecosystems, makes trees one of the easiest ways to carbon capture.

Photo by GreenForce Staffing on Unsplash

Grassland Conservation

The use of activism and the creation of more wildlife reserves has created large amounts of trees that are not in endangered of being used in the lumber and forestry industry.

The 3 Problems with these Solutions

There are 3 main problems with all of these solutions

  1. They are limited by space
  2. They are limited by cost
  3. They are limited by scalability

Space

All 3 of these current solutions require a large amount of space, entire forests, huge facilities, and acres and acres of wild space. This use of space isn’t sustainable on Earth, whereas our population density increases, we need more space. On average, the smallest wildlife reserves are around 100 square miles, and the largest being 375,000 square miles.

Cost

These current solutions also cost a high amount in infrastructure, as well as upkeep. On average, carbon capture facilities can cost $900 per ton of CO2 stored, and they cost even more in employment of people, the cost of building million dollar facilities, and creating sustainable routes to dispose of solid/liquid carbon that is extracted from the air. As well, it costs a high amount in infrastructure to protect grasslands.

Scalability

This is the most important factor in all of this problem. In order to make large dents in the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, we must have solutions that can be scaled to be very large. At the current output of CO2, there isn’t enough space or time to plant trees that would be able to offset our carbon foot print. (1,025 trees per American- that's 336.405 billion trees just to offset the carbon output of the U.S.) [2] In regard to mechanical solutions, currently, the technology is just too expensive and large to ever be implemented at a more accessible rate. In maybe 15 years, we might see carbon capture facilities as common as windmills, but not as accessible as an ATM or a solar panel.

While these solutions are currently in place, they have not proven to be able to solve the growing problem of carbon dioxide emissions. If we want to get rid of carbon dioxide, we must look at these 3 gaps, and find solutions for them.

CaptureCoat:

That’s why we came up with CaptureCoat. CaptureCoat uses photocatylizing nanoparticle TiO2, which is a titanium nanoparticle that converts CO2 into less harmful hydrocarbons. [3–6,8–13]. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles have many different properties, such as transparency and maximum ultraviolet light absorption, are required, such as in cosmetic sunscreens [14]. We plan to use titanium dioxide, accompanied by gold/platinum nanoparticle and latex adhesive, in order to make a paint like substance [7] that should be able to react with different carbon gases, especially carbon dioxide, at an efficiency of 12.49%, higher than any other photocatalytic nanomaterial. [4]

Electron Hole Pairing

The technology uses electron hole technique, similar to that of a simulated photosynthesis. The steps are as follows:

  1. Carbon dioxide is absorbed into the surface of the CaptureCoat paint.
  2. Under light, the paint generates electron pair holes.
  3. Uncomplex electrons and holes are moved to the surface of the paint.
  4. These react with the CO2.
  5. After Reaction, the Co2 is broken down
  6. The byproducts (less harmful hydrocarbons) are released back out.

[5]

It has also been stated that during this entire project, the nanoparticle is stable, and there is no major secondary reaction. [4] The solution also maximizes on the use of electron capturing abilities of Tio2 and can be learned more with source 5.

As well, due to the use of photocatalysis, the conversion can happen in room temperature and atmospheric pressure.[11]

How the Electron & Hole System works

TIO2 is the perfect nanomaterial for CaptureCoat due to its ability for rapid transmission of electrons, with its special structure and nanoarrays. The electron and hole system takes advantage of this. When excited by light, electrons on Tio2’s valence band can be moved to a conduction band, which then they move to the surface of the particle, creating holes in the valence band [5,9,15]. These holes can capture the electrons of absorbed Co2, pulling the molecule apart.

How CaptureCoat can Bridge Previous Gaps

In the previous section, we talked about the 3 main gaps that current solutions in carbon:

  • Space
  • Cost
  • Scalabillity

We designed CaptureCoat to be the solution that could bridge these gaps. In this section, we’ll prove how we can make our company the future.

Space

CaptureCoat is a solution that can be applied on existing spaces, like houses and cars. It in itself is not a space intensive endeavor, and a infrastructure already exists for it to be applied in these spaces in the paint industry. We son’t need acres of land or huge specialized factories. We just need spaces that are in need of a paint job, and want to be eco-friendly. The space exists, with almost 2 billion homes across the world. We must market to consumers and create commercial availability.

Cost

CaptureCoat is an extremely cheap solution in comparison to existing carbon capture solutions, especially in comparison to mechanical carbon capture. A more detailed cost analysis can be found in this paper, on page (page). While the difference in cost vs. actual carbon collected may be very similar, our solution is more scalable, meaning that at relative efficiency cost can be cheap for the average user, and our carbon absorption will be high.

Scalability

This is the biggest gap in current carbon capture technology. Many solutions are just not something that the average global citizen can buy and use, and especially a majority. CaptureCoat can be. We believe that we can bring down costs enough to be used in a commercial setting. On average, a house is repainted every 4–7 years, and over the last 14 years, the total home improvement amount spent a year has increased 170 billion dollars or almost 60%.[16] The average American’s budget for home improvement is growing, and we are the next generation of paints that will be used. Once manufactured at a commercial level, there is commercial potential and demand. With almost 139 million homes in America, and 5.6 million commercial buildings, once on a consumer based market, we have the potential to scale much bigger than current solutions.

Potential Sub-Uses

Energy

Titanium Dioxide during the Electron & Hole may generate power at a low efficiency. This is caused my excess electrons. Voltage should not be high, but it is something we may plan to harness later on, as a small renewable energy source.

Hydrocarbon Fuel

Research studies found that during synthesis, there are some gases produced, such as methane, hydrogen, methanol, formaldehyde, ethanol, and higher hydrocarbon. [11] While these seemed to be a hindrance, we believe that we can capture the trace amounts of this gas for fuel, effectively creating more renewable fuel sources. [17]

Uses

We suspect due to partial hydrocarbons, in the near future, CaptureCoat may not just be a a replacement for indoor paint, but instead for that of roads, the outsides of buildings, houses and cars. We also plan to create a a paint & laminate, both with the ability to capture carbon. This solution will be easily implementable as a alternative paint, or a solution that can be painted right on top of existing paint, due to its transparent properties. By 2030 want to have 50% of new buildings, 15% of cars & 10% of older buildings all covered in our new carbon capture solution.

Cost:

Currently, titanium nanoparticles cost around $0.0035/g USD at retail. Gold & Platinum nanoparticles are quite a bit more, at $0.032/mg. As well, we believe that latex adhesive can be found at around $1 per gallon. With manufacturing costs, we estimate 1 gallon of our product to cost about $19–26 dollars per gallon to produce, not including the cost to buy machinery, and pay employees. In comparison to paint companies, this is extremely high, as its around $3 currently to manufacture regular paint. But, we estimate, if we can replace platinum with a synthetic semiconductor, and add bulk price to the Tio2, we can bring the cost down to the $14 mark. Our goal is to eventually bring cost to $9, by reducing manufacturing costs, and source at a cheaper rate, as well as adding more synthetic conductors & and nanoparticles.

Financial Incentives:

The global paints and coatings market reached a value of nearly $220 billion in 2019. 1.4 billion gallons of paint were used alone in the US. Because CaptureCoat isn’t a competing paint brand, but instead, a paint additive, if 1% of paint was sold with CaptureCoat, with as little as $3 of profit a gallon, CaptureCoat could make $42 million in gross profit a year. As the CaptureCoat manufacturing process continues to be improved, total profits will rise, and the price for the consumer will decrease. We did a survey late in April with a sample size of about 40 people. We found that 65% would be willing to completely repaint their house if they had the ability to use or paint, in order to capture carbon.

Current Technological Restrictions:

Hydrocarbon Collection

Currently, a efficient way to capture offset hydrocarbons produced during the break down of the Co2. This can create trace amounts of methane, and amounts of methanol. We need to develop an efficient way to capture methane of our paint, or develop different solutions within our product that can collect these gases.

Affordable Manufacturing

Currently, we don’t know what the manufacturing costs would be. We estimate that manufacturing costs at this moment would be extremely high, due to the fact that tests with Tio2 have only been done at lab level, and never at a commercial level.

Synthetic Semi-Conductors

As well, platinum & gold as semiconductors have proven to be extremely expensive for large scale use. We would need to implement more synthetic semiconductors into our solution for a sustainable and cost effective paint.

Vision:

To efficiently capture carbon in accessible forms, through paint and paint additives, by partnering with major paint manufacturers. By 2030, 50% of new buildings should be painted with CaptureCoat added, with the additon 15% of cars & 10% of older buildings.

Impact:

Carbon capture has been in the hands of plants for the last 1.3 billion years. But now, as we are creating more and more carbon dioxide, and there are less and less trees out there, it’s time to make solutions that can be implemented in our current time, and place. We live in an age of steel skylines, and cement rivers. We need solutions that can do what used to be done, and what it takes now is us and you. CaptureCoat has the potential to bridge the gap between scalability, accessibility, and carbon capture, but we need you to make it happen. We do not know when our product will be ready, but we can ask 2 things of you.

Fill out our consumer survey: https://forms.gle/9tKhV6dqE5ZjEQmVA

Check out our website: www.capturecoat.com

Citations:

  1. Nunez, Christina. “Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere Is at a Record High. Here’s What You Need to Know.” Environment, National Geographic, 10 Feb. 2021, www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/greenhouse-gases#:~:text=They%20cause%20climate%20change%20by,change%20caused%20by%20greenhouse%20gases.
  2. “Carbon Footprint Calculator: Trees Needed to Offset Your CO2 Emissions.” Saving Nature, 23 Apr. 2021, www.savingnature.com/offset-your-carbon-footprint-carbon-calculator/.
  3. Rashidi, Hamed, and Roham Sohrabi. “Detailed Performance Model of Carbon Dioxide Absorption Utilizing Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles in a Wetted Wall Column.” American Institute of Chemical Engineers, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 9 Mar. 2019, www.aiche.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ep.13211.
  4. “Highly Efficient Photocatalyst Capable of Carbon Dioxide Recycling.” ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 1 Dec. 2017, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171201104040.htm.
  5. Feng1, Haijun, et al. “IOPscience.” IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, IOP Publishing, 1 July 2019, http://www.iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755–1315/295/3/032021.
  6. Titanium Dioxide Nanomaterials: Synthesis, Properties, Modifications, and Applications Xiaobo Chen and Samuel S. Mao Chemical Reviews 2007 107 (7), 2891–2959 DOI: 10.1021/cr0500535
  7. “Carbon Capture Coatings: Proof Of Concept Results And Call To Action.” Coatings World, www.coatingsworld.com/issues/2019-07-01/view_technical-papers/carbon-capture-coatings-proof-of-concept-results-and-call-to-action/.
  8. A Titanium Dioxide Supported Gold Nanoparticle Catalyst for the Selective N‐Formylation of Functionalized Amines with Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen : Dr. Takato Mitsudome, Dr. Teppei Urayama, Shu Fujita, Dr. Zen Maeno, Dr. Tomoo Mizugaki, Prof. Dr. Koichiro Jitsukawa, Prof. Dr. Kiyotomi Kaneda, https://chemistry-europe.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cctc.201700726
  9. Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticle Surface Reactivity with Atmospheric
    Gases, CO2, SO2 and NO2: Roles of Surface Hydroxyl Groups and
    Adsorbed Water in the Formation and Stability of Adsorbed Products
    Charith E Nanayakkara, Whitney A. Larish, and Vicki H Grassian
    J. Phys. Chem. C, Just Accepted Manuscript • Publication Date (Web): 10 Sep 2014: Downloaded from http://pubs.acs.org on September 11, 2014
  10. Razzaq, Abdul, and Su-Il In. “TiO2 Based Nanostructures for Photocatalytic CO2 Conversion to Valuable Chemicals.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 15 May 2019, www.mdpi.com/2072-666X/10/5/326/.
  11. Synthesis and Surface Modification of TiO2-Based Photocatalysts for the Conversion of CO2
  12. High Efficiency Photocatalytic Conversion of CO2 with H2O over Pt/TiO2 Nanoparticles | Request PDF
  13. Photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide by titanium oxide-based semiconductors to produce fuels
  14. Titanium Dioxide | Use, Benefits, and Chemical Safety Facts
  15. 1 — Electrons and holes in a semiconductor
  16. What’s driving home improvement sales
  17. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12088-018-0765-6

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Saras Agrawal
CaptureCoat

Currently working in the BCI startup space. Learning, Exploring, Creating, Teaching.