Scientists Created A Carbon-based Powder That Can Trap CO2 Emissions

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The researchers from the University of Waterloo created a carbon-based powder that can trap CO2 emissions from factories and plants, reported EurekAlert. Developed in the lab of Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineer at the before-mentioned university, the powder is able to capture and eliminate carbon dioxide from the industrial area powered by fossil fuels before the gas reaches the Earth’s atmosphere and contribute to pollution and global warming.

According to Chen, the powder can also be useful in water filtration systems and energy storage, both of which are also Zhongwei Chen’s areas of research. “This will be more and more important in the future. We have to find ways to deal with all the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels,” said Chen.

When CO2 molecules come into contact with the carbon-based material’s surface, they stick to it. Since this is an inexpensive and eco-friendly process, carbon-based materials are ideal for trapping C)2 emissions before they reach the atmosphere.

Scientists Created A Carbon-based Powder That Can Trap CO2 Emissions

The researchers developed a technique based on heat and salt with which they extract black carbon from plant matter. The carbon-based powder that results is made of small carbon spheres which have numerous pores on their surface so that they can capture CO2 emissions.

“The porosity of this material is extremely high. And because of their size, these pores can capture CO2 very efficiently. The performance is almost doubled,” explained Zhingwei Chen, the leading author of the study, and also a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in advanced materials for clean energy.

Once the powder is saturated with the carbon dioxide it absorbed at power plants and factories based on fossil fuels, the recipients with the carbon-based material can be transported and stored in specialized facilities or buried in underground storing sites to prevent further CO2 emissions, EurekAlert reported.


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