New Material Captures Carbon Dioxide and Efficiently Converts It to Useful Organic Materials

Porous Coordination Polymer

This new porous coordination polymer has propeller-shaped molecular structures that enables selectively capturing CO2, and efficiently convert the CO2 into useful carbon materials. Credit: Illustration by Mindy Takamiya

A new material that can selectively capture carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules and efficiently convert them into useful organic materials has been developed by researchers at Kyoto University, along with colleagues at the University of Tokyo and Jiangsu Normal University in China. They describe the material in the journal Nature Communications.

Human consumption of fossil fuels has resulted in rising global CO2 emissions, leading to serious problems associated with global warming and climate change. One possible way to counteract this is to capture and sequester carbon from the atmosphere, but current methods are highly energy-intensive. The low reactivity of CO2 makes it difficult to capture and convert it efficiently.

“We have successfully designed a porous material which has a high affinity towards CO2 molecules and can quickly and effectively convert it into useful organic materials,” says Ken-ichi Otake, Kyoto University materials chemist from the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS).

The material is a porous coordination polymer (PCP, also known as MOF; metal-organic framework), a framework consisting of zinc metal ions. The researchers tested their material using X-ray structural analysis and found that it can selectively capture only CO2 molecules with ten times more efficiency than other PCPs.

The material has an organic component with a propeller-like molecular structure, and as CO2 molecules approach the structure, they rotate and rearrange to permit C02 trapping, resulting in slight changes to the molecular channels within the PCP — this allows it to act as molecular sieve that can recognize molecules by size and shape. The PCP is also recyclable; the efficiency of the catalyst did not decrease even after 10 reaction cycles.

“One of the greenest approaches to carbon capture is to recycle the carbon dioxide into high-value chemicals, such as cyclic carbonates which can be used in petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals,” says Susumu Kitagawa, materials chemist at Kyoto University.

After capturing the carbon, the converted material can be used to make polyurethane, a material with a wide variety of applications including clothing, domestic appliances, and packaging.

This work highlights the potential of porous coordination polymers for trapping carbon dioxide and converting into useful materials, opening up an avenue for future research into carbon capture materials.

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Reference: “Carbon dioxide capture and efficient fixation in a dynamic porous coordination polymer” by Pengyan Wu, Yang Li, Jia-Jia Zheng, Nobuhiko Hosono, Ken-ichi Otake, Jian Wang, Yanhong Liu, Lingling Xia, Min Jiang, Shigeyoshi Sakaki and Susumu Kitagawa, 25 September 2019, Nature Communications.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-12414-z

About Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS)

At iCeMS, our mission is to explore the secrets of life by creating compounds to control cells, and further down the road to create life-inspired materials that confront the myriad problems that afflict modern society. In only a decade, collaborative research at iCeMS has resulted in significant cutting-edge scientific discoveries, and the creation of over 1500 unique materials. We will keep running for the greater future of science.

9 Comments on "New Material Captures Carbon Dioxide and Efficiently Converts It to Useful Organic Materials"

  1. Good, that is a useful technology. Even though,the climate is dynamic and varies greatly, with ~250 year cycles. The Climate is 1000x more responsive to Solar input (the Sun Stupid) and water vapor than CO2.
    Of course you cannot tax, or Order, the Sun to obey you.

  2. Wow, sheer genius. Plants have been doing the exact same thing for eternity. Science has finally caught up with them.

  3. “Human consumption of fossil fuels has resulted in rising global CO2 emissions, leading to serious problems associated with global warming and climate change.”

    I can’t take your article or your site seriously at this point.

  4. Francisco Machado | October 13, 2019 at 6:21 am | Reply

    An interesting development, but the article doesn’t tell us the ideal atmospheric carbon dioxide level. So far, the only theory that has been supported by observed result is an acceleration of plant growth, both forest and agriculture. Theories about effects on planetary temperature have not been borne out. Apocalyptic claims and evidence presented for that result are more redolent of a religion trying to support its dogma, e.g. East Anglia Climate Gate. Demonization of disputants rather than debate of the issue is symptomatic of desperation in the face of failure – they may not want to confront studies suggesting a higher atmospheric carbon dioxide level may be globally beneficial.

  5. adrenoreceptor | October 13, 2019 at 6:49 am | Reply

    Scientists believe the cause of the end of human life will be too little Co2. Rocks, earths natural carbon scrubbers will win in the end, scrubbing to much Co2 from the atmosphere, causing plant life to die, and thus everything that feeds on it leaving only microbial life.

    Source? “Secrets of the Earth, season 1 episode 6, Goldilocks””. Directly from the productions crews of the Climate Scamming Weather Channel…before they joined the Climate Scam when they just reported independent facts they gathered rather than shut out the facts they dont like while telling us there is a “consensus” and the “science is settled” on the Climate Change farce.

    And, just for kicks, read up on the “Carboniferous Period”. How did man cause that? And it was a drop in Co2 after a long and lush run of growth and life with far more Co2 than today, that caused the collapse of the forests then.

    The Climate hucksters dont believe in history, thats why they pick a point in time on the graphs and charts that only works forward from there, not telling the sheeple about what these variances were before the period they selected to begin their “facts” with.

    This guy shows you what they do, and provides the rest of the charts the hucksters hide from the ignorant populace:

    https://videos.whatfinger.com/2019/09/22/my-gift-to-climate-alarmists-climate-alarmists-debunked/

    Science is never settled. Just ask the Leftists that push this hysteria, they no longer believe basic biology, a science we all thought settled a long time ago.

  6. No, I’m not impressed at all. Plants have been doing this since plants evolved. Our agricultural communities employ plants to do this, give us oxygen to breath and organic goods to eat. If anything, because it will be misused, as science often is, it very well be the end of intelligent life on Earth not that there is much intelligence left on Earth today.

  7. While I completely understand the differences in opinion on the reasons why we can measure increased CO2 levels, and whether that’s good or bad, and which came first the heat or the CO2, it IS still getting warmer, the ice is melting, and the climate patterns are becoming less reliable globally. We have enjoyed a pretty reliable period since the “little ice age” and being people who like to plan for things, we in the West do not have much tolerance for anything resembling disasters – ie we are basically spoiled by prosperity & a good climate. So – things ARE changing, but in order to try & prevent this current CO2 trend which may be very good for the greenery, but not so much for our human health, we will try to invent ways to fix that. It will not be easy because there are way too many of us anyway, but to fight the attempt simply by poo-pooing the concepts, when you yourself might have to live in 120F temps soon, is not very nice to your children. Regardless HOW we still have to try & deal with it all !!! I bought my house up a hill more than 20 yrs ago when I first took notice of the situation….others refuse to consider their options…Mar-A-Lago will be flooded within about 25 yrs or so very likely….I’ll try not to laugh !!!

  8. Every illiterate has to develop, what they consider literate responses, to justify their existence!

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