Crystals containing micropores that have the ability to absorb carbon dioxide could be used to fight climate change.
The incredible new crystals absorb CO2 with a much higher efficiency than previously known materials, even in the presence of water, Stockholm University reported. In the past, capturing CO2 has been difficult because the presence of water prevents absorption. Complete dehydration is complicated and costly, but this new stable recyclable material could be the solution.
"As far as I know this is the first material that captures CO2 in an efficient way in the presence of humidity. In other cases there is competition between water and carbon dioxide and water usually wins. This material adsorbs both, but the CO2 uptake is enormous," says Osamu Terasaki, Professor at the Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry at Stockholm University.
The new material, dubbed SGU-29, is a copper silicate crystal that the researchers hope will be used to clean emissions from the air in the future.
"CO2 is always produced with moisture, and now we can capture CO2 from humid gases. Combined with other systems that are being developed, the waste carbon can be used for new valuable compounds. People are working very hard and I think we will be able to do this within five years. The most difficult part is to capture carbon dioxide, and we have a solution for that now," Terasaki concluded.