Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Squeezing Out CO2

15.02.2013
Post-combustion capture: metal-organic framework releases stored carbon dioxide in sunlight

In order to reduce the carbon dioxide output from coal power plants, CO2 could be removed from their exhaust (post-combustion capture) and stored or, if possible, used as a carbon source for chemical syntheses.

Previous approaches to this have suffered from the fact that they require too much energy. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Australian scientists have now introduced a new metal–organic framework compound that absorbs CO2 and then releases it upon exposure to sunlight.

Current techniques for the removal of CO2 from coal power plant exhausts by using liquid amines consume vast amounts of energy—sometimes up to 30 % of the energy produced by the plant. Most of the energy consumed in these processes is used to release the CO2 from the absorbent by raising the temperature or applying a vacuum.

A team headed by Richelle Lyndon and Matthew R. Hill is focusing on the use of concentrated sunlight as an alternative energy source for the release of CO2. The Australian researchers hope to achieve this by using metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to absorb the CO2. MOFs are crystals constructed like a scaffold with pores that can hold guest molecules.

The “joints” of the framework consist of metal ions or clusters; the “struts” are organic molecules. Clever selection of the individual components allows the size and chemical properties of the pores to be tailored for specific applications. In this case, they are arranged so that CO2 can be stored in the pores.

The team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Monash University (Australia) chose to use two different organic molecules for the vertical and horizontal struts. However, the molecules have one thing in common: irradiation with UV light causes them to alter their spatial structure. The molecules are securely fastened into the framework, which results in strain that limits the molecules to moving rapidly back and forth. Because of this, only small, limited regions of the framework move at any one time, and stop the entire structure collapsing.

The oscillating structural changes reduce the attractive forces between the surface of the pores and the absorbed CO2. A majority of the CO2 is squeezed out of the framework like water from a wrung-out sponge.

This process works best with UV light, but also works with concentrated natural sunlight. These light-reactive metal–organic frameworks could thus be an interesting approach for the energy-efficient removal of CO2 from combustion gases. Further investigations are needed to demonstrate how this separation works with real exhaust gases.

About the Author
Dr Matthew Hill is a senior research scientist with the CSIRO, Australia’s national laboratories. As an inorganic materials chemist he specialises in the construction of materials for clean and renewable energy applications. He is the recipient of the 2012 Eureka Prize for Emerging Leadership in Science.

Author: Matthew R. Hill, CSIRO Division of Materials Science and Engineering, Clayton (Australia), http://www.csiro.au/matthewhill

Title: Dynamic Photo-Switching in Metal–Organic Frameworks as a Route to Low-Energy Carbon Dioxide Capture and Release

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201206359

Matthew R. Hill | GDCh
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.csiro.au/matthewhill

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>