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New Polymer Absorbs Carbon Dioxide Under Pressure


co2adsorbingpolymerConverting fossil fuels into hydrogen seems to be picking up quite a speed, with scientists looking for ways to make use of the petrol-producing facilities and turn them into hydrogen refill stations. The technique, which is now being explored, is called integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), but its biggest limitation is the release of CO2 as a byproduct.

Scientists from University of Liverpool took on the task to find a way to capture this CO2, and deliver it to storage facilities in a usable form, preventing it from escaping in the atmosphere. They developed a polymer made of carbon-based molecules, that can safely absorb the gas in the pores between these molecules. As a result, the polymer swells and safely contains the greenhouse gas.

The new polymer has a sandy texture and brown colour. It works particularly efficiently when placed under high pressure, which makes it different from all other existing polymers and very suitable for use in the IGCC.  When removed from the high-pressure environment, the CO2 is released, and can be moved to a storage facility for future use. According to the team, the material is highly robust, and very cheap to produce.

Although the idea behind using materials to capture carbon is not new, this is the first time such polymer has the ability to only absorb CO2 and not the water vapour. This makes it particularly useful at carbon-emitting facilities, where it could be used as a new mean for capturing carbon.

The discovery was presented at the very exciting 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, which took place in San Francisco last week. The new polymer was among the numerous highly innovative green technologies, including the pseudo-graphene made of hemp that turned quite a number of heads around.

Image (c) university of Liverpool

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  1. Ya got to love it when some one re-invents the wheel. We already have a system of carbon sequestration that can out pace anything that the human race can invent, it’s called LIFE. Plant a tree and when that tree is grown cut it down and make something that will be around for a long time out of it. Plant another tree and do the same thing. Oh why don’t we plant thousands of trees and then repeat this cycle? Truth is we do. The level of carbon sequestration has steadily increased over the years right along with the increase of carbon emissions. There may indeed be a gap between production of co2 and the sequestration of CO2  but no one is willing to even ask the question. You will find lots and lots of figures showing the produced CO2 but no one ever discloses the amounts that are removed from the carbon cycle. Without knowing the true difference based upon actual facts reduces everything else to propaganda. It falls in the realm of what one believes which can be based upon anything at all. 

    This site used to be about energy development along with sustainable technologies and every once in a while they do uncover something new and worthwhile to think about but for a while now it has been about propaganda and pushing one’s beliefs on who ever would listen. I’m not saying what you believe isn’t true what I’m saying is just because you believe it doesn’t make it true. When it comes to making decisions about anything I really like to have as many facts as can be found. If I make a decision based upon only half of the facts then I am an idiot. There are lots of ideas floating around based upon beliefs and not fact. 

    The task of producing an automobile with very small CO2 output isn’t new there are lots of chemical reactions that will sequester the carbon. The idea of adding active calcium to an automobile catalytic converter to absorb the carbon has been in the tank for years, why don’t we do it? That’s high school chemistry. Ah but that would solve the problem and the giant industry surrounding carbon would dry up. We might fall faster into the next ice age but hey everything comes with a cost right?

    Point is I can’t save you, you have to save yourselves. Present a better way and the world will beat a path to your door. Simply bashing and pointing out the flaws in the current way is not offering a solution. Show me the progress toward something better, show me how to do it better, replace what I have with something that meets the need and exceeds my expectations. Other wise stop wasting my time with hype and advocacy, I’ll choose what I believe.


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