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Carbon dioxide ‘sponge’ could ease transition to cleaner energy

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Posted August 11, 2014
Carbon dioxide 'sponge' could ease transition to cleaner energy
Plastic that soaks up carbon dioxide could someday be used in plant smokestacks. Credit: American Chemical Society

A sponge-like plastic that sops up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) might ease our transition away from polluting fossil fuels and toward new energy sources, such as hydrogen. The material—a relative of the plastics used in food containers—could play a role in President Obama’s plan to cut CO2 emissions 30 percent by 2030, and could also be integrated into power plant smokestacks in the future.

 

The report on the material is one of nearly 12,000 presentations at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

“The key point is that this polymer is stable, it’s cheap, and it adsorbs CO2 extremely well. It’s geared toward function in a real-world environment,” says Andrew Cooper, Ph.D. “In a future landscape where fuel-cell technology is used, this adsorbent could work toward zero-emission technology.”

CO2 adsorbents are most commonly used to remove the  gas pollutant from smokestacks at power plants where fossil fuels like coal or gas are burned. However, Cooper and his team intend the adsorbent, a microporous organic polymer, for a different application—one that could lead to reduced pollution.

Read more at: Phys.org

 

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