Researchers invent carbon arresting material to help reduce industrial emissions

Industry Insights

The carbon capture and sequestration capability of Alberta is set to receive another feather in its cap. This is credited to the capability of a material invented and tested by team Alberta that offers an efficient way to arrest CO2 from industrial emissions.

A team of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta characterized a CO2 arresting microporous material that attracts gas molecules and observes them glue to its surface. The material belongs to a class of microporous solids called metal-organic frameworks.

The research team tested the capabilities of the material to uncover its unique properties that makes it a superior material to arrest CO2. The concept of metal-organic framework has been prevalent for decades since researchers began to prove that combination of metals and organic molecules had the potential to concentrate gases from a mixture, stated one of the research associates.

For each gram of the material, it has a surface area of more than 500 square meters. These materials can be packaged in a column, much like a catalytic converter, and join to the end of a smokestack.

For demonstration purpose, the researchers devised an experiment at a shopping district. When emissions are transmitted through the material to a group of people at a shopping district, individuals who are not interested in shopping move ahead, whereas the ones who do move slow.

If emissions are composed of nitrogen and CO2, nitrogen is released first and CO2 is left behind glued to the material. The flow of CO2 in the material to reuse either requires pressure in the column to be brought down and concentrated CO2 is ejected out, or the system is heated using steam or waste heat.

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