Building a Better Trap for CO2


A new contender for capturing CO2 promises to give other materials a run for their money, and could also open up a new path for the development of next-generation adsorbants.

Capturing CO2 from power plant fluegas as a means to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions has attracted much attention recently. Current methods that involve absorption of CO2 in alkanolamine solutions are energy-intensive. An alternative to chemical absorption is physical adsorption onto porous materials such as zeolites, metal organic frameworks (MOFs), and activated carbon. So far, however, the capacity and selectivity of available adsorbents are too low to be attractive for large-scale use.

Researchers from the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur have developed a material made of vertically aligned double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWCNTs) to trap carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The scientists not only created a material that outperforms porous carbon, zeolites, and MOFs, they also identified key parameters, including nanotube...

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