Capturing Carbon Dioxide to Create a Cleaner Environment

A group of scientists that include the Nobel Laureate George A. Olah have discovered an improved method of ‘capturing’ carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In a recent report for the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Olah and his colleagues address what they view as ‘one of the most challenging issues of our century’: the management of CO2 emissions. Their findings reveal a new solid material based on polyethylenimine that can be used as an absorbent to scrub CO2 from the air. The results of their research could potentially counteract the effects of the ever increasing consumption of fossil fuels by mankind, which they cite as a leading cause of environmental problems such as climate change and ocean acidification.

This material can be used at both industrial sources, such as power plants and factories, as well as small distributed sources like car exhausts. It can even be used to capture CO2 directly from the open atmosphere. Once captured, the carbon can be sequestered or recycled to manufacture other carbon based substances. The polyethylenimine material is regenerable, meaning it can be reused to capture carbon over and over again without loss of efficiency. Unlike existing methods of removing CO2, it is also inexpensive, easy to prepare and far less energy intensive. Whether you’re a climate change alarmist or a skeptic, there is no doubt that this material could have a positive and far-reaching effect on our environment. In the future, CO2 may no longer be considered a problematic and unusable byproduct. Instead, as the study suggests, it could be seen as a ‘valuable feedstock for the production of fuels and materials.’

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

Please help us do more. Make a tax-deductible contribution now.

Our Comment Policy

Keep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.

print

0 responses to “Capturing Carbon Dioxide to Create a Cleaner Environment”

  1. cafields says:

    This is my First Time and Last Time Visiting WhoWhatWhy.Com
    CO2 is not a Problem Plants use CO2 in PhotoSynthesis and they Release 3 Times the Amount of CO2 they use as Oxygen and Also Humans Exhale CO2. You CO2 Doom and Gloom Freaks need to do some Real Research and Stop with this Anti Human Agenda. Also the Popup Begging for a Handout is Another Good Reason to Not Return.

  2. Boris_larry says:

    If you are as ballsy as you claim, you will continue to follow up on this and seek answers from congressional members as well as the EPA.  We’re counting on you!

  3. Mohamed4431 says:

    I believe the material is called poly-ethyl-amine. Please check.

  4. Mr. Bronx says:

    CO2 is a pollutant? We’d better cap all of the volcanoes, which emit more CO2 than the entire human race. Please. I don’t come here for propoganda. Oh, and to ‘cure’ this let’s trade carbon credits so big industry can buy their way out of the scam, and all smaller player are eliminated.

    The BBC obliterated this myth with “The Global Warming Swindle” years ago. Yes, the BBC.

    • WupWup says:

      Reffering to a debunked bbc program. That’ll show all them scientist. I know the real world is scary, but hiding under your bed doesn’t make it go away.

    • Mr. Bronx says:

      A brilliant response. I have no retort to ‘…all them scientist.” or ‘..debunked bbc program” (caps for BBC and debunked by whom – you?).  No link, no evidence – and you go to a site like this?  Allow me to suggest you read up on Mr. Bieber at the Tiger Beat site – might be more appropriate for you.

      If you’re going to do Internet Comment Snark, you’ll have to try harder.

    • ADC says:

      Maybe you should go a bit
      deeper than watching a documentary that was once shown on (not produced or
      commissioned by) the BBC.

      It’s good that you don’t come here for propaganda, but nor should you come here
      for conspiracy theories based on documentaries that misuse, manipulate and
      fabricate data, rely on out of date research, and ignore any facts that don’t
      fit with what they’re trying to say.

      If you want a more complete obliteration of “The Great Global Warming
      Swindle”, just research the facts and data yourself. Or watch this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boj9ccV9htk&feature=player_embedded

    • John Russell says:

      If you need to understand the science (and from what you write, it’s clear you do), go to NASA’s detailed site and read up.  http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/   Or do you deny that their scientists know what they’re talking about?

    • ADC says:

      Maybe you should go a bit
      deeper than watching a documentary that was once shown on (not produced or
      commissioned by) the BBC.

      It’s good that you don’t come here for propaganda, but nor should you come here
      for conspiracy theories based on documentaries that misuse, manipulate and
      fabricate data, rely on out of date research, and ignore any facts that don’t
      fit with what they’re trying to say.

      If you want a more complete obliteration of “The Great Global Warming
      Swindle”, just research the facts and data yourself. Or watch this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boj9ccV9htk&feature=player_embedded

    • Reality calling says:

      Nope.  It wasn’t the BBC, it was Channel 4 in the UK and presented the viewpoint of its author, nobody else.  I has been resoundingly denounced in the scientific community – including by two of the scientists featured in the program, who felt their views and research were misrepresented.  Oh, and your central claim that “volcanoes emit more CO2 than the human race” was actually removed from the film after the initial broadcast because even the film producers felt they couldn’t support the claim.

      Google is your friend.

      It sure would be nice if this were a gigantic global conspiracy organized by scientists (apparently motivated by a desire to make themselves forever unemployable in the most profitable industries on the planet. Or something) and not one of the most researched and verified observations since the theory of gravity, but it really doesn’t look that way.

    • ADC says:

      Maybe you should go a bit
      deeper than watching a documentary that was once shown on (not produced or
      commissioned by) the BBC.

      It’s good that you don’t come here for propaganda, but nor should you come here
      for conspiracy theories based on documentaries that misuse, manipulate and
      fabricate data, rely on out of date research, and ignore any facts that don’t
      fit with what they’re trying to say.

      If you want a more complete obliteration of “The Great Global Warming
      Swindle”, just research the facts and data yourself. Or watch this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boj9ccV9htk&feature=player_embedded

    • Oso Xiong McBear says:

      I want to know why CO2 has been singled out as the atmospheric villain. Global warming is real; it’s happening everywhere. Human activity IS a factor…. but Carbon Dioxide is not as big a problem as other greenhouse gasses, such as METHANE, which (according to EPA and other sources) is 20 times the greenhouse gas that CO2 is. We could scrub all the C02 from the atmosphere, all the plants would suffocate (the photosynthetic Calvin cycle requires carbon dioxide) and we still wouldn’t stop global warming because all our beef cows are farting methane that is not only as greenhouse gas but TOXIC TO PLANT AND ANIMAL LIFE. CO2 is not the problem, except insofar as it has hijacked environmental consciousness. Methane, which also speeds up the degradation of the ozone layer and whose atmospheric concentration is the highest its been in 400,000 years, is likely the real culprit, but gets no media attention. Not even carbon monoxide gets the attention it should.

    • Boris_larry says:

      So tell me how the methane levels from 400,000 years ago determined?

    • Mohamed Yousuf says:

      Sorry Mr. Bronx, but CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a harmless non poisonous gas. It is a green house gas but certainly not a pollutant.

  5. Bamftiger says:

    The wonder chemical sure sounds like it’s a plastic. Where does plastic come from again?

  6. soularddave says:

    All well and good; I’ll believe it when I see it. We’ve done a LOT of damage so far, and it’ll take a lot of effort to shovel the snow back into glaciers, unacidify the ocean, and regenerate the petrolium and coal we’ve wasted on trying to cook the planet.

    Seriously, humans are dying from our excesses right now, and we users are the only ones who can change our lifestyles to save lives – carbon dioxide absorbent or not, we can’t go on like we have been.

  7. Pherringster says:

    The real way to stop creating so much atmospheric C02 is to live differently. 

  8. Lee Chen says:

    Interesting but as we can see research unveils the fact that methane is twenty-one times more potent at atmospheric warming.  In fact, recent studies show that probabilities are more in favour of reducing methane and soot in the near term.

    sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/337614/title/Small_efforts_to_reduce_methane,_soot_could_have_big_effect