Carbon Sponge Could Soak Up Coal Emissions
Feb. 11, 2013 — Emissions from coal power stations could be drastically reduced by a new, energy-efficient material that adsorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide, then releases it when exposed to sunlight.
In a study published Feb. 11 in Angewandte Chemie, Monash University and CSIRO scientists for the first time discovered a photosensitive metal organic framework (MOF) -- a class of materials known for their exceptional capacity to store gases. This has created a powerful and cost-effective new tool to capture and store, or potentially recycle, carbon dioxide.
By utilising sunlight to release the stored carbon, the new material overcomes the problems of expense and inefficiency associated with current, energy-intensive methods of carbon capture. Current technologies use liquid capture materials that are then heated in a prolonged process to release the carbon dioxide for storage.
Associate Professor Bradley Ladewig of the Monash Department of Chemical Engineering said the MOF was an exciting development in emissions reduction technology.
"For the first time, this has opened up the opportunity to design carbon capture systems that use sunlight to trigger the release of carbon dioxide," Associate Professor Ladewig said.
"This is a step-change in carbon capture technologies."
A promising and novel class of materials, MOFs are clusters of metal atoms connected by organic molecules. Due to their extremely high internal surface area -- that could cover an entire football field in a single gram -- they can store large volumes of gas.
PhD student Richelle Lyndon and lead author of the paper said the technology, known as dynamic photo-switching was accomplished using light-sensitive azobenzene molecules.
"The MOF can release the adsorbed carbon dioxide when irradiated with light found in sunlight, just like wringing out a sponge," Ms Lyndon said.
"The MOF we discovered had a particular affinity for carbon dioxide. However, the light responsive molecules could potentially be combined with other MOFs, making the capture and release technology appropriate for other gases."
The researchers, led by Professor Matthew Hill of CSIRO, will now optimise the material to increase the efficiency of carbon dioxide to levels suitable for an industrial environment.
The study was supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund.
This seems to be what the American researchers are working on.
So why fellow Americans did we allow Obama via abusing EPA power with its has no Constitutional authority to wield put all our proud Democratic Coal working union members out of work?
More base load solar panels, wind mills and really completely inexcusable corn ethanol rather than simply aiding the research in methanol based co2 recycling?
What a sad joke. We have plenty of time to use our ng in transportation or even in liquid fuel which has already been done in the middle east. But we need to switch blending or just allow competition to ethanol corruption with methanol.
5. Carbon Dioxide Conversion and Use
Top Ten Emerging Technologies in 2013
Author: Javier García-Martínez
Published Date: 15 February 2013
Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KG
Long-promised technologies for the capture and underground sequestration of carbon dioxide have yet to be proven commercially viable, even at the scale of a single large power station. New technologies that convert the unwanted CO2 into saleable goods can potentially address both the economic and energetic shortcomings of conventional Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) strategies.
One of the most promising approaches uses biologically engineered photosynthetic bacteria to turn waste CO2 in low-cost, modular solar converter systems into liquid fuels or chemicals. Individual systems are expected to reach operational scales of hundreds of acres within as little as two years. Being 10 to 100 times as productive per unit of land area, these systems address one of the main environmental constraints on biofuels from agricultural or algal feedstock. They could supply lower carbon fuels for automobiles, aviation, or other large-scale liquid fuel users.