Feb 132013
 
01a0b8f0ed5121863c22540782ea6800_nThis has created a powerful and cost-effective new tool to capture and store, or potentially recycle, carbon dioxide.

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 today 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.

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