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New Device Made for Putting Carbon Dioxide to Use

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 03:40PM

There are two ways to deal with waste products you want to get rid of; one is to reduce the amount produced and the other is to make it into something useful. Carbon dioxide is no exception to this, though getting the job done can be difficult because of the chemistry required. Researchers at Berkeley Lab have recently created a device that can both capture and reduce carbon dioxide into the more useful carbon monoxide.

This new device is made of covalent organic frameworks, which is a kind very porous of crystal. They are so porous in fact that a sugar-cube size COF has as much surface area inside of it as a football field. On its own, this is just a sponge-like material already used to capture CO2, but by coating the inside with the catalyst porphyrin, the combination becomes a very fast and efficient means of converting CO2 into CO. When tested, it was able to convert 290,000 molecules of the gas every second, which is 26 times better than porphyrin achieves on its own.

Once converted, carbon monoxide can be used as a feed stock to produce many materials including fuels, pharmaceuticals, and plastics.

Source: Berkeley Lab

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