MIT Assistant Professor Betar Gallant (left) and graduate student Aliza Khurram are developing a novel battery that could both capture carbon dioxide in power plant exhaust and convert it to a solid ready for safe disposal. Graduate student Aliza Khurram prepares for experiments by pumping carbon dioxide through an electrochemical cell consisting of lithium and carbon electrodes plus a specially designed electrolyte. This diagram depicts the process during discharge of the new lithium-CO2 battery developed by MIT Assistant Professor Betar Gallant and her group. The researchers’ proposed battery consists of a lithium anode plus a carbon cathode that is surrounded by a special electrolyte that incorporates lithium ions (Li+) and amine. This scanning electron microscope (SEM) image shows the cathode from the researchers’ lithium-carbon dioxide system after discharge. Analysis of the spherical structures confirms that they are composed of Li2CO3. The inset shows an SEM image of the carbon cathode before discharge. Absence of the spheres confirms they were formed during discharge. The researchers use this setup to test the storage capacity and discharge voltage of their batteries. M...