Scientific Innovations: Carbon Dioxide Sponge for Cleaner Energy

Guest writer: Hsien-Ju Tsai

Carbon dioxide leads to progressively more severe global warming conditions. How to control carbon dioxide emissions without affecting industrial development has been an important issue faced by various countries around the world. According to the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, recent study reported that spongy plastic, can effectively absorb carbon dioxide molecules, reducing pollution generated by fossil fuels, 

Cooper, of the University of Liverpool, states that the sponge works best under the high pressures intrinsic to the integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) process. Just like a kitchen sponge swells when it takes on water, the adsorbent swells slightly when it soaks up CO2 in the tiny spaces between its molecules. When the pressure drops, he explains, the adsorbent deflates and releases the CO2, which they can then collect for storage or convert into useful carbon compounds. 

One of the advantages of the polymer is that it is not susceptible to acid erosion, which enables it to adapt to a variety of plants in the harsh environment. Compared to other absorbents, the sponge polymer is cheap and highly reusable as they are very robust.

Source: American Chemical Society

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