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New materials remove carbon dioxide from smokestacks, tailpipes and even the air

Date:
January 5, 2012
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists are reporting discovery of an improved way to remove carbon dioxide -- the major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming -- from smokestacks and other sources, including the atmosphere. The process achieves some of the highest carbon dioxide removal capacity ever reported for real-world conditions where the air contains moisture.

Car exhaust pipe.
Credit: � Dmytro Panchenko / Fotolia

Scientists are reporting discovery of an improved way to remove carbon dioxide -- the major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming -- from smokestacks and other sources, including the atmosphere. Their report on the process, which achieves some of the highest carbon dioxide removal capacity ever reported for real-world conditions where the air contains moisture, appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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Alain Goeppert, G. K. Surya Prakash, chemistry Nobel Laureate George A. Olah and colleagues explain that controlling emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. They point out that existing methods for removing carbon dioxide from smokestacks and other sources, including the atmosphere, are energy intensive, don't work well and have other drawbacks. In an effort to overcome such obstacles, the group turned to solid materials based on polyethylenimine, a readily available and inexpensive polymeric material.

Their tests showed that these inexpensive materials achieved some of the highest carbon dioxide removal rates ever reported for humid air, under conditions that stymie other related materials. After capturing carbon dioxide, the materials give it up easily so that the CO2 can be used in making other substances, or permanently isolated from the environment. The capture material then can be recycled and reused many times over without losing efficiency. The researchers suggest the materials may be useful on submarines, in smokestacks or out in the open atmosphere, where they could clean up carbon dioxide pollution that comes from small point sources like cars or home heaters, representing about half of the total CO2 emissions related to human activity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alain Goeppert, Miklos Czaun, Robert B. May, G. K. Surya Prakash, George A. Olah, S. R. Narayanan. Carbon Dioxide Capture from the Air Using a Polyamine Based Regenerable Solid Adsorbent. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011; 133 (50): 20164 DOI: 10.1021/ja2100005

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New materials remove carbon dioxide from smokestacks, tailpipes and even the air." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104115100.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2012, January 5). New materials remove carbon dioxide from smokestacks, tailpipes and even the air. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104115100.htm
American Chemical Society. "New materials remove carbon dioxide from smokestacks, tailpipes and even the air." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104115100.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

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