Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neutron diffraction probes forms of carbon dioxide in extreme environments

21.12.2016

Carbon dioxide is a key component in the carbon cycle of Earth, both in the atmosphere and in the mantle, or hot layer under Earth's crust. Studies of high pressure, high temperature phases of solid carbon dioxide are important to understand the forms that carbon may adopt at the extreme pressures and temperatures of Earth's interior.

Through a Deep Carbon Observatory collaboration, Adam Makhluf of the University of California, Los Angeles's Earth, Space and Planetary Science Department and Chris Tulk of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Chemical and Engineering Materials Division are using neutrons to study the fundamental role carbon dioxide plays in Earth's carbon cycle, especially in the composition of carbon reservoirs in the deep earth and the evolution of the carbon cycle over time.


Adam Makhluf from the University of California, Los Angeles is using neutrons at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Spallation Neutron Source to study the fundamental role carbon dioxide plays in Earth's carbon cycle, especially in the composition of carbon reservoirs in the deep earth and the evolution of the carbon cycle over time.

Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL

Makhluf and Tulk are using the SNAP instrument, SNS beam line 3, located at ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source, to provide insight into carbon dioxide's behavior under intense conditions.

"At high pressures and temperatures, it is thought that carbon dioxide can take on unusual bonding arrangements that make it very similar chemically to silicon dioxide," Makhluf said. "There may be much more carbon than we think inside of the Earth because of substitution reactions with the most ubiquitous oxide on earth, silicon dioxide."

Studying such specific aspects requires very small samples that can be put under extreme high pressure, a process possible with an apparatus called a diamond anvil cell. This cell pressurizes the sample between two diamonds and allows researchers to place the sample in the neutron beam to produce crystallographic data. Although this high pressure is necessary to analyze the carbon dioxide, high temperatures are also essential to fully interpret the results.

"No one has ever laser heated such a large sample under high pressure," Makhluf said. "This study is meant to advance neutron science in diamond anvil cells so that other users can investigate samples at extreme temperatures."

ORNL neutron diffraction experts Reinhard Boehler and Tulk, a SNAP instrument scientist, are important contributors to this technique.

Carbon dioxide is versatile, adapting and producing new forms depending on the pressure and temperature levels. In fact, the carbon dioxide phase known as CO2-V typically emerges under harsh conditions, providing a way to effectively study Earth's mantle.

Despite carbon's notable influence on crucial planetary functions, scientists do not yet understand the details of the high pressure and temperature phases. Some phases are stable as long as they are not subjected to significant disruptions. For example, phase V of carbon dioxide remains metastable even in environments that do not meet the synthesis conditions.

Increasing knowledge about these forms will solidify understanding of carbon interactions in the Earth, providing a foundation on which to base future observations and discoveries.

###

The Deep Carbon Observatory is funded by the Sloan Foundation as a decadal program. SNS is a Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility. UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the DOE's Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov/

Media Contact

Katie Bethea
betheakl@ornl.gov
865-576-8039

 @ORNL

http://www.ornl.gov 

Katie Bethea | EurekAlert!

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered
18.01.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht A close-up look at an uncommon underwater eruption
11.01.2018 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>