In a rapidly warming world, the task of finding a way to reduce greenhouse gases — primarily carbon dioxide — has been on the mind of scientists everywhere. Now, a team of researchers may have found a way to cut down harmful carbon dioxide courtesy of an inexpensive polymeric material.
It turns out the solution may lie in a new solid material based on polyethylenimine that can be used at the source of the emissions. It is inexpensive, readily available and can line smokestacks or car tail pipes.
Another key benefit of polyethylenimine is that it can be used in real world conditions — including humid conditions. Tests showed the material has some of the highest removal rates of carbon dioxide in the presence of humidity, which had been a stumbling block for pervious methods of scrubbing the gas from the air.
If that wasn't enough polyethylenimine is also reusable. It can be used multiple times to scrub the carbon dioxide, and the material can give up the carbon easily — either to be isolated or recycled through the creation of other things.
A material that cleans the air and is recyclable as well? That sounds like a winning solution!
The team behind the promising find includes Alain Goeppert, G. K. Surya Prakash, and chemistry Nobel Laureate George A. Olah. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.