Science 2 min read

Capturing of CO2 Molecules Using New Porous Material

Researchers have developed an energy-efficient way of capturing CO2 molecules in the atmosphere and turning them into organic materials.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

A team of scientists has developed a new porous material that can efficiently capture and convert CO2 molecules.

Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that’s emitted through human activities. In 2017, CO2 accounted for roughly 81.6 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States.

So, it’s no wonder that ongoing studies are focusing on reducing this greenhouse gas. From the artificial photosynthesis method to a new electrochemical path, scientists have devised ingenious ways to capture and convert CO2 molecules.

The problem is the current methods require a lot of energy. As a result, we could never capture carbon dioxide molecules efficiently.

Well, that’s about to change.

The scientists at Kyoto University, the University of Tokyo, and Jiangsu Normal University in China have developed a new material that can capture and convert co2 molecules into organic materials. The best part is it doesn’t require a lot of energy.

In a press release on the project, Kyoto University materials chemist from the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS), Ken-ichi Otake said:

“We have successfully designed a porous material which has a high affinity towards CO2 molecules and can quickly and effectively convert it into useful organic materials.”

So, how does the new material work?

How the Researchers Developed a PCP to Capture CO2 Molecules

The scientists developed a porous coordination polymer (PCP) that is consists of zinc metal ions. According to X-ray structural analysis, the material selectively captures carbon dioxide molecules with ten times the efficiency of other porous coordination polymers.

The material has a propeller-like molecular structure that rearranges and rotates to capture approaching CO2 molecules. Also, it changes the molecular channels in the PCP at the same time.

According to the researchers, the PCP’s efficiency did not reduce after ten reaction cycle. In other words, scientists can reuse the CO2 capturing material at least ten times before it stops being useful.

The captured carbon can be useful in making polyurethane – an organic compound with tons of applications. These include packaging, clothing, as well as appliances.

A material chemist at Kyoto University, Susumu Kitagawa noted:

“One of the greenest approaches to carbon capture is to recycle the carbon dioxide into high-value chemicals, such as cyclic carbonates, which can be used in petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.”

Read More: CO2 Emissions Could Lead To Economic Losses Says New Study

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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