Carbon capture and sequestration are well-known in Alberta. Due to a new material created and tested in the province will add another award to its list of accomplishments. The innovation can positively impact the Pollution Treatment Market as it provides an efficient approach to extract carbon dioxide from industrial pollutants.
The team studied a CO2-capturing microporous substance that attracts gas molecules and causes them to attach to its surface. The material, Calgary framework-20 (CALF-20), is part of the metal-organic frameworks family of microporous solids.
The researchers investigated CALF-20's capabilities to discover what makes it a good option for CO2 capture. According to them, the concept of metal-organic frameworks has been around for decades, ever since researchers found that a combination of metals and organic molecules known as linkers could concentrate gases from a mixture.
The single gram's surface area regarding CALF-20 is more than 500 square meters. Like a catalytic converter, these materials can be stacked into a column and mounted to the end of a chimney. When there is a mixture of nitrogen and CO2 in the emissions, the nitrogen is expelled first, while the CO2 is left behind and sticks to the item. After that, two scenarios follow. Either the pressure in the column is reduced, or the concentrated CO2 is vacuumed out. Second, the system is heated up using waste heat or steam to drive the CO2 along to reuse the material. When heat is applied, CO2 is released, and a more concentrated version of it can be collected.
This material is unique as it can effectively tolerate water. This means one doesn't need to dry the gas before filtering it through this material, saving a considerable amount of time and energy.
CALF-20 has a significant edge over earlier advances as it functions under real-world situations for thousands of hours. After being concentrated, CO2 is compressed and stored in geological formations or forced back into existing wells for better oil recovery. Further, it can also be transformed into a fuel, such as methanol, to manufacture other products.
The study is highly relevant as it has brought-forth next-generation carbon capture systems that minimize CO2 emissions while also lowering costs. For achieving these achievements, synthetic and theoretical chemists, chemical engineers, and industry worked together across universities and disciplines.
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