This new material can efficiently capture carbon dioxide from wet flue gasses

New material design tops carbon-capture from wet flue gases.


What is flue gas?

Flue gas (sometimes called exhaust gas or stack gas) is the gas that emanates from combustion plants and which contains the reaction products of fuel and combustion air and residual substances such as particulate matter (dust), sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide.

Be that as it may, the flue gas mainly composed of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and often sulfur dioxide- which are the main greenhouse gas contributing to global warming.

Carbon Dioxide Separation from Flue Gases:

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the most indicated technology to decrease CO2 emission from fossil fuel sources to the atmosphere. Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are among the most promising of these materials. But these materials often requires drying the “wet” flue gas first, which is technically feasible but also very expensive.

Now, EPFL scientists have come up with a novel material that can capture CO2 out of wet flue gases more efficiently than even marketing materials. Unlike previous materials, this new material does not get affected by water.

Scientists come up with an idea of using an out-of-the-box approach to overcome the difficulties presented with material design: the tools of drug discovery.

They computer-generated 325,000 materials whose common motif is the ability to bind CO2. All the materials belong to the family of MOFs – popular and versatile articles that Smit’s research has been leading the charge on for years.

To limit the determination, the scientists at that point searched for common structural motifs among the MOFs that can bind CO2 well indeed, yet not water. This subclass was then additionally narrowed down by including parameters of selectivity and proficiency until the scientists’ MOF-generation algorithm finally settled on 35 materials that show better CO2 capturing capacity from wet flue-gas than current materials that are commercially available.

Berend Smit at EPFL Valais Wallis said, “What makes this work stand out is that we were also able to synthesize these materials. That allowed us to work with our colleagues to show that the MOFs actually adsorb CO2 and not water, actually test them for carbon capture, and compare them with existing commercial materials.”

“The experiments carried out in Berkeley showed that all our predictions were correct. The group in Heriot-Watt showed that our designed materials could capture carbon dioxide from wet flue gasses better than the commercial materials.”

The study is published in MARVEL’s Materials.


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