Plastic sponge soaks up carbon dioxide, but don't trees do it better?

08/22/2014

Last week at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, a report presented by Andrew Cooper, PhD, from the University of Liverpool, introduced a sponge-like plastic that sops up carbon dioxide (CO2), the greenhouse gas that everyone loves to hate.

While CO2 is considered a trace gas because of its low concentration in the air (389 ppm, representing just 0.0389% of air by volume), it is considered harmful by some scientists even at these low concentrations. "The key point is that this polymer is stable, it's cheap, and it adsorbs CO2 extremely well. It's geared toward functions in a real-world environment," explained Cooper. "In a future landscape where fuel-cell technology is used, this adsorbent could work toward zero-emission technology."

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