Strategies to mitigate CO2 emissions are becoming increasingly important. Engineers and scientists are pursuing a variety of approaches, including carbon capture and storage (CCS), as well as ways to convert CO2 into high-value chemicals.
Researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have combined two of those approaches. They created a sponge-like material that not only captures and stores CO2, but also selectively reduces it to carbon monoxide — a starting material for a range of chemical products.
The new material is a covalent organic framework (COF) embedded with a cobalt porphyrin catalyst. COFs are three-dimensional porous crystals consisting of organic building blocks tightly connected by covalent bonds. Their high surface area — the surface of a COF the size of a sugar cube would cover a football field — makes them especially good at adsorbing and storing gases such as CO2. The building blocks of the new COF are cobalt porphyrin catalyst molecules...
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