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New material shown to remove CO2 from smokestack effluent and other sources


January 5, 2012

A commonly-available, inexpensive polymer has been shown to be very effective at capturing carbon dioxide from sources such as smokestacks (Photo: Dori)

A commonly-available, inexpensive polymer has been shown to be very effective at capturing carbon dioxide from sources such as smokestacks (Photo: Dori)

In recent years, worries over global climate change caused by excess atmospheric carbon dioxide have led to a number of technologies all aimed at the same thing - capturing human-generated CO2 at the source. These have included the use of things such as edible sponges, molten salts and bacteria, to name just a few. Now, a group of scientists is claiming success with a process that has achieved "some of the highest carbon dioxide removal rates ever reported for humid air" ... and it uses a common and inexpensive polymer.

According to Alain Goeppert, G. K. Surya Prakash, chemistry Nobel Laureate George A. Olah and their colleagues, existing methods of CO2 removal can be energy intensive, ineffective, or are otherwise less than ideal.

The process that they created utilizes a filter containing the polymer polyethylenimine. Under conditions that reportedly thwarted other, related materials, it was able to effectively remove CO2 from sources such as smokestack effluent, tailpipe emissions, or even directly out of the open atmosphere.

The polyethylenimine easily released the trapped carbon dioxide on demand, so that it could be used in industry, or more permanently stored. Once it has released its CO2 load, the polymer can apparently be recycled and reused many times, without losing efficiency.

Besides its use in the reduction of greenhouse gases, the scientists suggest that it could also be used in air purification systems, such as those found on submarines.

A report on the research was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Since AGW has been proven to be a fraud based belief system, why bother with CO2 sequestering systems?


Hmm, polymer meaning derived from oil. So what\'s the carbon footprint to make this magical polymer? And how my CO2 scrubbing cycles are needed to offset that?


I am so fed up with the lies from people who are either to lazy to do the research or just plain stupid. PLEASE Google: "Myths vs. Facts: Global Warming" If you choose to believe the world will end Dec. 21, 2012 when the planet "Nibiru" collides with earth, go ahead. If you believe Obama was born in Kenya - fine with me. If you believe the governments of the world are hiding the existence of 57 different species of aliens -oh - just never mind. But with regards to Global Warming, or as it's now called "Climate Change", the debate is over - the science is in. It's happening. Wake up. Grow up. Smarten up. Stop being lazy and do the research starting with - "Myths vs. Facts: Global Warming" and stop listening to that idiot Glen Beck.



Whoever told you \"polymer\" means \"derived from oil\" flunked chemistry class.


re; Eletruk

acording to

\"A polymer is a large molecule (macromolecule) composed of repeating structural units.\" \"Natural polymeric materials such as shellac, amber, and natural rubber have been used for centuries.\"


Pray tell, what to do with the CO2 after it is released from the polymer in the filter of my car????

Release it into the air, dump it in the ocean, or pump it underground to contaminate aquifers (fizzy aquifer water anyone??)

Of course for Industry which needs CO2 for processes it may be cheaper to capture it from the effluent (gas) stream of power plants.... than capturing it from air, or from combustion of fuels specifically burnt for the purpose (producing CO2)....

Then again, much of the industrial use of CO2 involves releasing it into the air.... so this may be used to recycle the CO2 used by processes.. but little else....

Large scale, long time scale CO2 sequestration has not been able to be proven....

Has anyone realised that the Oil companies can\'t stop Gas fields from leaking once they are tapped, so what makes anyone think that they can stop a CO2 well from leaking.....

Also, CO2 sequestration has been used by the oil companies for some time (along with water pumping) to increase the pressure in the wells to increase production, not to have any eco-friendly outcomes..... (they take CO2 in the gas and oil streams and pump it back underground.... (then for some reason, they find a need to flare off loads more volatiles, into the atmosphere rather than pumping that underground as well.....) oh well there must be a reason..


re; Xander66

After studying the evidence and the people presenting it I have come to the conclusion that AGW renamed Climate Change when the predicted temperature increase did not happen over the last ten years is a complete fraud presented for personal gain, and/or to inflict an authoritarian world government.


wooow... thats really amazing... Where Iam from we have an technology really good to do CO2 sequestration, we call it tree\'s!!!...

the big problem of combustion effluents and gas, oil and other chemical industries are NOx, SOx, VOC\'s, particles... those types of pollutants are the real problematic issue not the CO2.

Tiago Roque

re; MD

For the most part the \'volatiles\' flared off at the oil fields are too dangerous to store or transport, running an engine off them would seem to be a good idea though.


lol i like how they put a picture of steam coming out of pipes and want you to think it\'s CO2(which you can not see), yes that is water

Facebook User

Well CO2 ought to be Mined for the carbon and oxygen!

Growing Trees and the carbon fixing it as BIO-CHAR, and back into the ground it goes to retain moisture and fertilise fields!

Mr Stiffy

While checking average temperatures for the months of January and February relative to the snowless winter we\'re having in Vermont, I noticed that not a single \"recorded high\" temperature for any given day during those two months occurred after 2008 and only 4 days in 60 occurred in 2007 and 2008. There were MANY more recorded highs in the 1950\'s than in the 2000\'s. Here\'s how the numbers went: 1950\'s- 13 highs, 1960\'s- 6 highs, 1970\'s- 8 highs, 1980\'s- 13 highs, 1990\'s- 10 highs, 2000-2011- 7 highs. Clearly this is just one region\'s data but the data doesn\'t tell me anything concrete about climate change. Except perhaps, nothing\'s changed. Not taking a position with this data, just noting it as interesting. Hoping for a ton more snow for the sake of the local economy.


Mr Stiffy and others: Please stop being lazy, as mentioned, and do a little digging. That link clearly tells you to look at more than a small slice of temperatures if you want to see a \"trend\" in the data. You can probably pull many 10 year slices out of the complete set to show any trend you want. There have been review after review of the research, the data and the methods and all such reviews, even those conducted by fence sitters and doubters has come up with the same conclusion: The climate is changing beyond what would be considered \"natural\" and it is almost certainly due to human activity. I know you will ignore me, I know you won\'t bother to do any research and I know you will point and say \"a true believer!\" but I can only try.

On the article: The very end of it points out the most useful application of the polymer is in air filtration for submarines and such. I think they mention carbon sequestration to get funding :)


re; Scion

After studying earths climate history I have come to the conclusion that having the average global temperature maintaining in between the extremes is abnormal and if man is responsible for that, Hooray.


This fetish about reducing CO2 is incredible. And stupid.

There are real problems that need solving such as thousands of kids dying every day in the 3rd world due to causes that are easy and cheap to prevent.

But instead, the climate change scammers are forcing governments to focus on reducing CO2. (Guess it\'s because CO2 trading schemes are profitable, butt helping kids in the 3rd world isn\'t.)


People who claim Global Warming is a myth remind me of religious nutcases who say Evolution is wrong to suit their own personal agendas.


people just do not do their home work. Converting Co2 to a usable fuel is already done without an very expensive and maybe controversial bacterial process. Go Blue and find out what works now!

Darryl Goodman
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