A new material that is inexpensive to produce is also good at absorbing CO2 emissions in the air. Hopefully we’ll see this material being applied to the medians on highways and other places close to planet-damaging carbon emission sources.
Reporting their findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the team (which includes a Nobel laureate in chemistry) descirbes a new solid material based on polyethylenimine that can be used to capture carbon dioxide at the source–be that an industrial smokestack or a car’s exhaust pipe–under real-world conditions where the air contains moisture.
That last part is important. Previous methods of scrubbing CO2 from the air have enjoyed varying degrees of success (usually under controlled conditions), but none has been particularly effective in the presence of humidity. The new material, which is inexpensive and readily available, has shown some of the highest carbon dioxide removal rates of any material ever tested in the presence of humidity.