- Jul 24, 2021
Pollution has been one of the most important global issues and which gave rise to environment-related questions and asked the right questions about the future of Earth and its inhabitants in general. Air-pollution has affected the wildlife and the day-to-day lives of humans. To tackle the throbbing problem of the air pollution mainly caused by factories and power plants, scientists at the University of Waterloo have created a powder which can absorb CO2, one of the major exponent of air-pollution, from factories and power plants.
The powder was created in the lab of Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor at Waterloo. The powder can absorb, filter and remove CO2 at fossil-fueled facilities even before it is released into the atmosphere. This way, the powder can be more effective than most of the state-of-the-art air pollution control tools and technologies available to factories and power plants. The new powder will not only be able to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the naked air but it can also manipulate the size and the concentration of pores. This new process can later be used to produce optimized carbon powders to use for water filtration and energy storage.
CO2 molecules through the process of adsorption stick to carbon when they come in contact with it. The researchers based their conception of the powder on this idea of adsorption for improved performance by manipulating the size and concentration of pores in carbon materials. Carbon is easily available and it is environment-friendly which made it the best option for this development. Heat and salt are used to extract a black carbon powder from plant matter.
This powder is made out of carbon spheres which have many pores in it and they are less than one-millionth of a meter in diameter. Once the powder has reached its maximum potential of holding in the CO2, the powder is to be buried underground so that the CO2 trapped in the powder cannot be released into the air.
The porosity of this material is extremely high. And because of their size, these pores can capture CO2 very efficiently. The performance is almost doubled – Chen.