Carbon Scrubbers to Clean Up Emissions

Carbon Scrubbers to Clean Up Emissions

by Steven Greenwood
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Research into methods of reducing carbon emissions is a continually advancing field, and a team of researchers developed an improved way to remove emissions directly from sources like smokestacks.

The team recently had an article published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society detailing their findings, which focused on using substances based on a material called polyethylenimine to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from sources. According to the article, these substances whoed some of the greatest results in removing CO2 from the air when compared to alternatives. The substances also proved capable of effectively capturing the CO2, and could either be re-used or isolated, so it wouldn’t contribute to global climate change.

The team, which consisted of researchers from the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and Department of Chemistry from the University of Southern California, explained in their article that the materials used are uniquely effective largely due to their low cost and reusability. The material is relatively inexpensive when compared to other options, and can be reused numerous times without losing its ability to capture CO2.

The article also explains that materials manage to remain effective in real-world conditions. This means that the materials were observed as being able to accommodate for exceptionally humid, moist or dry environments, something that is important when considering practical application of scientific research such as this.

Other options for CO2 reduction are more expensive, less effective or durable and use large amounts of energy than the processes being researched by this team. If the researchers are able to effectively implement these polyethylene materials, they will have created a valuable resource that is much easier to use. Considering the cost-effectiveness and stability of the polyethylenimine materials, the application of them will make sustainability much more accessible, and therefore potentially more widespread.

The material’s main target for carbon reduction is smokestacks; however the research could also potentially be used to reduce CO2 emissions from car exhaust, submarines, and even the open atmosphere itself. Cleaning of the upper atmosphere would hopefully reduce the greenhouse effects of the CO2.

CO2 is one of the greatest threats to the environment in recent years. The amount of CO2 emissions produced by humans is of great concern to the population due to its effects on climate change,rising sea levels and air pollution. Research on ways to reduce emissions of CO2 is an area of international concern.

According to the World Health Organization, high levels of greenhouse gases — of which CO2 is a prominent part of — affect necessities to health like clean air and water and increase the incidence rates of climate-sensitive diseases.

Up until now, finding ways to reduce these emissions has proven challenging and unpromising. However, if this research team is successful in implementing polyethylenimine as a way to reduce emissions, the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere may be significantly reduced. This would help reduce concerns of climate change, and result in cleaner air in an effective and affordable way.

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