Now that we’ve validated the core concept, it’s time to spin Synthwave into its own mission with the goal of building a real, working, electrochemical Direct Ocean Capture machine.
In addition to all of the normal mission functions (recruiting, organizing, publishing, etc.) it will need to tackle three core engineering areas.
The ability to efficiently degas the electrolyte is the biggest unknown right now. How can we degas a given volume? How do we measure what kind of gas is being removed, and how much? If we’re removing CO2, how do we store it?
Being efficient is key, as I suspect the vacuum pump will be our biggest energy draw. The electrolyte needs to be degassed twice, and I suspect the resulting CO2 will need to be compressed.
The next biggest unknown is the design of the cell itself. It’s going to be tricky: We know there need to be two cells with two sets of electrodes. There are multiple steps to the process: How do we manage the timing?
It should be possible to design a flow cell. This should be the goal, although there may need to be a few intermediate steps along the way. Figuring out the development roadmap should be one of the first things we tackle.
There are two aspects to cost optimization: The overall cost of the ‘developer kit’, and the technoeconomic efficiency of the cell itself. Both are important, but for different reasons. Keeping the cost of materials low is key for recruiting other hackers and collaborators. Ensuring the process is cost-competitive is key to actual widespread adoption.
Ideally, we can recruit volunteers to help us on the above problem areas. We should aim to break experiments into small pieces (for example, we don’t need the full Synthwave setup to test our ability to degas water and measure the output).
In order to continue forward momentum, I’ll aim for weekly updates on this forum. Should we have enough interest, we can pull in some other project planning tools, but for now I’d prefer to keep our software load to a minimum.
Please reply here or contact me on Discord if you’d like to contribute!