by Staff Writers
Nottingham UK (SPX) Sep 25, 2012
A low-cost new material that could lead to innovative technologies to tackle global warming has been discovered by scientists at The University of Nottingham.
The porous material, named NOTT-300, has the potential to reduce fossil fuel emissions through the cheaper and more efficient capture of polluting gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). The research, published in the scientific journal Nature Chemistry, demonstrates how the exciting properties of NOTT-300 could provide a greener alternative to existing solutions to adsorb CO2 which are expensive and use large amounts of energy.
The new material represents a major step towards addressing the challenges of developing a low carbon economy, which seeks to produce energy using low carbon sources and methods.
"It offers the opportunity for the development of an 'easy on/easy off' capture system that carries fewer economic and environmental penalties than existing technologies. It could also find application in gas separation processes where the removal of CO2 or acidic gases such as SO2 is required."
Carbon footprint reduction
Professor Schroder said: "It is widely accepted that it is imperative that the CO2 footprint of human activity is reduced in order to limit the negative effects of global climate change.
"There are powerful drivers to develop efficient strategies to remove CO2 using alternative materials that simultaneously have high adsorption capacity, high selectivity for CO2 and high rates of regeneration at an economically viable cost."
And NOTT-300 delivers on each of these criteria. Because of this, the new discovery could signal a marked improvement in terms of environmental and chemical sustainability.
The material is economically viable to produce because it is synthesised from relatively simple and cheap organic materials with water as the only solvent.
High uptake of CO2 and SO2
In addition to high uptake capacity and selectivity, it is also very easy to release the adsorbed gas molecules through simple reduction of pressure. The material has high chemical stability to all common organic solvents and is stable in water and up to temperatures of 400 degrees C.
Professor Martin Schroder and Dr Sihai Yang led a team of researchers from the University's School of Chemistry in conjunction with colleagues from Peking University, The University of Oxford, ISIS and Diamond Light Source.
The team used the ISIS facility and the Diamond Synchrotron beam to gain important structural information about how the gases bind to the host material and to understand the properties of the NOTT-300 that make it selectively adsorb CO2 and SO2. The research was funded by the ERC Advanced Grant COORDSPACE and ChemEnSus, an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Programme Grant.
University of Nottingham
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