Wonder Crystals SGU-29 Clean Air From Carbon, Fighting Climate Change

Posted: Oct 17 2015, 1:59am CDT | by , Updated: Oct 18 2015, 4:12pm CDT, in Latest Science News


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Wonder Crystals SGU-29 Clean Air from Carbon, Fighting Climate Change
Osamu Terasaki and Peter Oleynikov with a model of the new crystal. Credit: Stockholm University

Can a new material with micropores be a way to fight climate change?

A new material could change the way humankind fights climate change. Researchers made crystals that capture carbon dioxide with an efficiency not known so far. The crystals works also in the presence of water.

One way to fight climate change would be to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air.

The problem with this is the presence of water that prevents the absorption of CO2. A complete dehydration process is a costly.

The new crystals solve this problem. The recyclable material has micropores within the crystal that have different adsorption sites for carbon dioxide and water.

"As far as I know this is the first material that captures CO2 in an efficient way in the presence of humidity. In other cases there is competition between water and carbon dioxide and water usually wins. This material adsorbs both, but the CO2 uptake is enormous," says Osamu Terasaki, Professor at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry at Stockholm University.

The new carbon absorbing material is called SGU-29, named after Sogang University in Korea, and is the result of international cooperation.

SGU-29 is a copper silicate crystal.

"CO2 is always produced with moisture, and now we can capture CO2 from humid gases. Combined with other systems that are being developed, the waste carbon can be used for new valuable compounds. People are working very hard and I think we will be able to do this within five years. The most difficult part is to capture carbon dioxide, and we have a solution for that now," says Osamu Terasaki.

As the Volkswagen emissions scandal has shown, there is more cheating going on that actual development to curb emissions. Governments are slow to push for stricter emissions guidelines.

The SGU-29 research titled "CO2 capture from humid flue gases and humid atmosphere using a microporous copper-silicate" got published in a report in the scientific journal Science.

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