Finland serves coffee in machine powered by the air we breathe at Expo 2020 Dubai

Methane-fuelled espresso machine a basic example of carbon capture in action at Expo 2020 Dubai

Coffee with a twist is being served to visitors at Finland’s pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Using a nifty scientific process, a special machine sucks in air in the pavilion, separates the carbon dioxide and mixes it with hydrogen extracted from water to create methane.

The methane is used to fire the machine to serve the perfect espresso via a conventional coffee maker.

“Electricity to power the espresso machine is extracted from the air in the pavilion, and the espresso machine is a great way to demonstrate this,” said Mario, a volunteer at the pavilion.

“The Finns love drinking coffee, and we drink more coffee per head than any other country – about 12 kilograms per person every year.

“The machine is powered by a generator that extracts air from the pavilion to utilise carbon dioxide.

"It separates the CO2 from all other gases in the air. At the same time an electrolysis process separates hydrogen from the oxygen in the water.

"We then use the hydrogen combined with the CO2 taken from the atmosphere inside the pavilion to create methane.

“The methane is then used as a power source for the coffee machine. It burns inside the machine to create electricity and a by-product of water that is also reused."

The process is an example of cheap carbon capture, combining CO2 with renewably sourced hydrogen.

It offers potential for cheaper, synthetic natural gas as a sustainable energy source.

Sustainability and renewable energy are key themes of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The design of the Finland pavilion, named Snow Cape, is inspired by a traditional Bedouin tent.

Inside, visitors walk into a large wooden ‘gorge’ with an open view up to the sky.

The building resembles a white tent made of snow, offering an insight into Finnish design and inventions, with a theme of ‘connecting minds, creating the future’.

Updated: October 12th 2021, 11:56 AM
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