Most Effective CO2 absorber Sponge Created

Most Effective CO2 absorber Sponge Created

Noble Prize-winning chemist George Olah and team of researchers at the University of Southern California has developed a breakthrough low-cost plastic material, which is claimed to be one of the most effective CO2 absorbers ever created.

Olah and team took a common plastic which soaks up CO2 at moderate levels and fused it to a silica substrate. This fusing vastly increased the surface area – and thus its effectiveness. The CO2 sponge thus created -- has one of the highest absorption rates of CO2 for any known material-- is a big step towards a CO2 absorbing material that is low-cost and simple to use.

Possible Use:

Olah and team plans to incorporate the material in an iron-based battery for renewable energy storage for energy grids. The battery uses the dynamic oxygenation, and it can be ruined by CO2, The researchers hence want to take advantage of polyethylenimine’s (PEI when fused with Silica) ability to soak up carbon.

Other benefits of the material are: It can catalyze at room temperature and releases CO2 at 80 degrees celsius – a relatively low temperature compared to other materials. The material can be made in large quantities at low-cost, but because it is a plastic with a low melting point it cannot be used near CO2 pollution sources like tailpipes and smokestacks. Olah envisions using the trapped CO2 and combining it with hydrogen to make methanol for fuel. --------

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