Australia hopes for carbon capturing 'sponges'

September 13, 2010
A woman covers her nose as she crosses a busy street as vehicles contribute fumes and pollution in a busy shopping district area of Hong Kong 2007. Australian scientists said Monday they are working to develop "molecular sponges" that they hope will soak up carbon gases and help in the fight to contain greenhouse gas pollution.

Australian scientists said Monday they are working to develop "molecular sponges" that they hope will soak up carbon gases and help in the fight to contain greenhouse gas pollution.

Researchers at Sydney University have produced full of minute holes which can retain gases such as dioxide, and which they hope could be used in places where these gases are produced, such as power stations.

"You could think of them a little bit like your kitchen sponge," lead researcher and postdoctoral fellow Deanna D'Alessandra told ABC Radio.

The chemical frameworks are full of so many tiny holes or pores that they have a far greater surface area than would be expected from their size, she said.

"So if you thought of all of the area inside of the little pores of the sponge, then in fact it would add up to an incredible amount.

"So in fact if you took a teaspoon of one of the best materials we have at the moment, then it would actually have a surface area of about a rugby field, which is pretty amazing," she said.

D'Alessandro said the "sponges" currently in development are more robust than previous ones, and could potentially withstand the high temperatures in power stations.

The process of soaking the "molecular " with could also be reversible, allowing the gas to be released under certain conditions, she said.

The scientists say their findings are not yet ready for commercial adaptation, but D'Alessandro said she hopes they will become viable.

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not rated yet Sep 13, 2010
Keep studying guys, you'll be doing it forever.

Activated carbon is the exact same concept, and probably won't differ much in performance.

Surface area isn't theonly consideration. Total volumn is far more important, and they are ignoring this variable. If your storing a GAS, the maximum amount you can store at atmospheric pressures is teh volume of the sponge. If your spong was the size of your trunk, it would take about 3 seconds of an idling engine, thats all.

Remember, your not trying to filter contaminents out of a tail pipe, your trying to contain EVERYTHING that comes out of the tailpipe. It's not like your trying to clean something dirty, it's 99.99% combustion byproducts that all need to be contained.

Capture of combustion products via filtering is impossible unless you first turn the combustables back into a solid... which will take more energy than the original burning gave off.

Keep researching the unworkable, give the audience an impression that you care.

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