Environment

New material shown to remove CO2 from smokestack effluent and other sources

A commonly-available, inexpensive polymer has been shown to be very effective at capturing carbon dioxide from sources such as smokestacks (Photo: Dori)
A commonly-available, inexpensive polymer has been shown to be very effective at capturing carbon dioxide from sources such as smokestacks (Photo: Dori)
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A commonly-available, inexpensive polymer has been shown to be very effective at capturing carbon dioxide from sources such as smokestacks (Photo: Dori)
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A commonly-available, inexpensive polymer has been shown to be very effective at capturing carbon dioxide from sources such as smokestacks (Photo: Dori)

In recent years, worries over global climate change caused by excess atmospheric carbon dioxide have led to a number of technologies all aimed at the same thing - capturing human-generated CO2 at the source. These have included the use of things such as edible sponges, molten salts and bacteria, to name just a few. Now, a group of scientists is claiming success with a process that has achieved "some of the highest carbon dioxide removal rates ever reported for humid air" ... and it uses a common and inexpensive polymer.

According to Alain Goeppert, G. K. Surya Prakash, chemistry Nobel Laureate George A. Olah and their colleagues, existing methods of CO2 removal can be energy intensive, ineffective, or are otherwise less than ideal.

The process that they created utilizes a filter containing the polymer polyethylenimine. Under conditions that reportedly thwarted other, related materials, it was able to effectively remove CO2 from sources such as smokestack effluent, tailpipe emissions, or even directly out of the open atmosphere.

The polyethylenimine easily released the trapped carbon dioxide on demand, so that it could be used in industry, or more permanently stored. Once it has released its CO2 load, the polymer can apparently be recycled and reused many times, without losing efficiency.

Besides its use in the reduction of greenhouse gases, the scientists suggest that it could also be used in air purification systems, such as those found on submarines.

A report on the research was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

In recent years, worries over global climate change caused by excess atmospheric carbon dioxide have led to a number of technologies all aimed at the same thing - capturing human-generated CO2 at the source. These have included the use of things such as edible sponges, molten salts and bacteria, to name just a few. Now, a group of scientists is claiming success with a process that has achieved "some of the highest carbon dioxide removal rates ever reported for humid air" ... and it uses a common and inexpensive polymer.

According to Alain Goeppert, G. K. Surya Prakash, chemistry Nobel Laureate George A. Olah and their colleagues, existing methods of CO2 removal can be energy intensive, ineffective, or are otherwise less than ideal.

The process that they created utilizes a filter containing the polymer polyethylenimine. Under conditions that reportedly thwarted other, related materials, it was able to effectively remove CO2 from sources such as smokestack effluent, tailpipe emissions, or even directly out of the open atmosphere.

The polyethylenimine easily released the trapped carbon dioxide on demand, so that it could be used in industry, or more permanently stored. Once it has released its CO2 load, the polymer can apparently be recycled and reused many times, without losing efficiency.

Besides its use in the reduction of greenhouse gases, the scientists suggest that it could also be used in air purification systems, such as those found on submarines.

A report on the research was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

17 comments
Slowburn
Since AGW has been proven to be a fraud based belief system, why bother with CO2 sequestering systems?
Eletruk
Hmm, polymer meaning derived from oil. So what\'s the carbon footprint to make this magical polymer? And how my CO2 scrubbing cycles are needed to offset that?
Xander66
I am so fed up with the lies from people who are either to lazy to do the research or just plain stupid. PLEASE Google: "Myths vs. Facts: Global Warming" If you choose to believe the world will end Dec. 21, 2012 when the planet "Nibiru" collides with earth, go ahead. If you believe Obama was born in Kenya - fine with me. If you believe the governments of the world are hiding the existence of 57 different species of aliens -oh - just never mind. But with regards to Global Warming, or as it's now called "Climate Change", the debate is over - the science is in. It's happening. Wake up. Grow up. Smarten up. Stop being lazy and do the research starting with - "Myths vs. Facts: Global Warming" and stop listening to that idiot Glen Beck.
Gadgeteer
Eletruk, Whoever told you \"polymer\" means \"derived from oil\" flunked chemistry class.
Slowburn
re; Eletruk acording to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymer \"A polymer is a large molecule (macromolecule) composed of repeating structural units.\" \"Natural polymeric materials such as shellac, amber, and natural rubber have been used for centuries.\"
MD
Pray tell, what to do with the CO2 after it is released from the polymer in the filter of my car???? Release it into the air, dump it in the ocean, or pump it underground to contaminate aquifers (fizzy aquifer water anyone??) Of course for Industry which needs CO2 for processes it may be cheaper to capture it from the effluent (gas) stream of power plants.... than capturing it from air, or from combustion of fuels specifically burnt for the purpose (producing CO2).... Then again, much of the industrial use of CO2 involves releasing it into the air.... so this may be used to recycle the CO2 used by processes.. but little else.... Large scale, long time scale CO2 sequestration has not been able to be proven.... Has anyone realised that the Oil companies can\'t stop Gas fields from leaking once they are tapped, so what makes anyone think that they can stop a CO2 well from leaking..... Also, CO2 sequestration has been used by the oil companies for some time (along with water pumping) to increase the pressure in the wells to increase production, not to have any eco-friendly outcomes..... (they take CO2 in the gas and oil streams and pump it back underground.... (then for some reason, they find a need to flare off loads more volatiles, into the atmosphere rather than pumping that underground as well.....) oh well there must be a reason..
Slowburn
re; Xander66 After studying the evidence and the people presenting it I have come to the conclusion that AGW renamed Climate Change when the predicted temperature increase did not happen over the last ten years is a complete fraud presented for personal gain, and/or to inflict an authoritarian world government.
Tiago Roque
wooow... thats really amazing... Where Iam from we have an technology really good to do CO2 sequestration, we call it tree\'s!!!... the big problem of combustion effluents and gas, oil and other chemical industries are NOx, SOx, VOC\'s, particles... those types of pollutants are the real problematic issue not the CO2.
Slowburn
re; MD For the most part the \'volatiles\' flared off at the oil fields are too dangerous to store or transport, running an engine off them would seem to be a good idea though.
Facebook User
lol i like how they put a picture of steam coming out of pipes and want you to think it\'s CO2(which you can not see), yes that is water
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