Crystals Absorb CO2 Like a Sponge

This is pretty neat!

The CBC is reporting that a new form of crystal can capture CO2 in a way that seems like magic.

Chemists at the University of California Los Angeles said the crystals — which go by the name zeolitic imidazolate frameworks, or ZIFs — can be tailored to absorb and trap specific molecules.

“The technical challenge of selectively removing carbon dioxide has been overcome,” said UCLA chemistry professor Omar Yaghi in a statement.
The team of scientists created 25 ZIF crystal structures in a laboratory, three of which showed a particular affinity for capturing carbon dioxide. The highly porous crystals also had what the researchers called “extraordinary capacity for storing CO2”: one litre of the crystals could store about 83 litres of CO2.

2 thoughts on “Crystals Absorb CO2 Like a Sponge

  1. 83:1 – an impressive ratio. Now, figure out how many billion tonnes of CO2 need to be captured and where that carbon happens to be. Then work out how you’re going to get billions of tonnes of ZIFs within adequate proximity of these greenhouse gases to soak them up.

    Not to say that this isn’t an interesting and potentially worthwhile discovery. How expensive is the stuff to produce, how stable is it, how heavy is it, what is its shelf life, how do you dispose of it in a way that doesn’t release the carbon captured?

    There have been so many of these “solutions” and they all fail for one practical reason or another. It’s like all the miraculous cancer breakthroughs that are announced with such regularity.

  2. ^ I agree with you

    I think it would be fun to get all of these near-solutions together and then solve EVERYTHING all at once 😉

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