Japanese scientists have come with a way to deal with the huge amount of carbon dioxide polluting our environment. In a newly invented method, without expending too much energy, the scientists sucked the CO2 molecules out of the air. Reportedly, the material can be eventually turned into an ingredient for clothing, packing and many more things.
The secret is a porous coordination polymer (PCP) made up of zinc metal ions. The ions have the capability to selectively capture CO2 molecules and have 10 times greater efficiency than any other PCPs. Also, the interesting thing is that the material is reusable, and runs at maximum efficiency even after 10 reaction cycles.
According to materials chemist Ken-ichi Otake, from Kyoto University in Japan, "We have successfully designed a porous material which has a high affinity towards CO2 molecules and can quickly and effectively convert it into useful organic materials."
The concept of carbon sequestration has been around however because of low reactivity of carbon dioxide it has been difficult to capture without using a lot of energy in the process, defeating the whole purpose. The research published in Nature Communications showed how exactly to do it.
While another research team from Rice University in the US developed a device for turning CO2 into liquid fuel. In this process, the key ingredient is metal bismuth and formic acid is the end result of the process.
"One of the greenest approaches to carbon capture is to recycle the carbon dioxide into high-value chemicals, such as cyclic carbonates which can be used in petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals," says materials chemist Susumu Kitagawa, from Kyoto University.
However, further research is required for it to work at larger scale. Given the rising pollution which in turn is leading to global warming, this could prove to be really useful for the environment and for us, in general.