Solving global warming with nanoporous materials

November 20, 2015 by Andrew Spence, The Lead

Removing carbon dioxide gases from the atmosphere to reduce global warming and converting them into green energy is at the heart of a cutting edge research project.

Professor Ajayan Vinu, whose research into nanoporous carbon nitride is creating excitement among environmental scientists troubled by the rapid progression to critical , will lead the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia to solve this problem.

Globally recognised for his work the emerging field of nanoporous materials, Prof Vinu's research into carbon nitrides has found that they have just the right properties to support the capture and conversion of CO2 molecules.

"Their interesting properties—a semiconducting framework structure and ordered pores—make them exciting candidates for the capture and conversion of CO2 molecules into methanol which can then be used as a source of with the help of sunlight and water," Prof Vinu said.

"My goal is to develop this unique approach which has the potential to make a huge contribution to cleaning the environment and addressing one of our most significant environmental problems, the mitigation of atmospheric CO2.

"This fascinating material is not only helping in reducing CO2 levels by developing an efficient, low-cost photo electrochemical semiconductor device, but also offers a clean fuel source from the conversion of absorbed CO2 molecules.

"Through a strong multidisciplinary approach and deep collaboration with industries I am sure we can create tangible benefits… to translate the research into real products."

Prof Vinu's discoveries have led to worldwide recognition. His work on this novel material and other materials with future-focussed applications has also earned him recognition by key societies in Japan, Germany, India, Iran and Australia.

These include prestigious awards from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Humboldt Foundation and the Australian Research Council.

UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, Prof Tanya Monro said the appointment of Prof Vinu would set the stage for exciting developments at the Future Industries Institute.

"Prof Vinu is a fantastic complement to the Institute which is focussed on research that will seed future industries and also provide solutions to emerging challenges," she said.

"This appointment adds capacity to our strength in materials and energy engineering with a clear pathway to partner engagement and impact."

Explore further: New crystal material captures carbon from humid gas

Related Stories

New crystal material captures carbon from humid gas

October 15, 2015

A new material with micropores might be a way to fight climate change. Scientists have created crystals that capture carbon dioxide much more efficiently than previously known materials, even in the presence of water. The ...

Capturing and converting CO2 in a single step

August 11, 2015

Turning carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants into a more valuable chemical would reduce carbon emissions while creating a revenue return. At the University of Pittsburgh, researchers computationally derived a metal-free ...

Development of new-generation solar cells

March 7, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ) and Korea have combined their expertise in polymer patterning and materials science in a bid to develop new-generation solar cells.

Porous material converts CO2 into carbon monoxide and oxygen

August 21, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California has developed a porous material that is able to split carbon dioxide molecules into carbon monoxide and oxygen. ...

Could companies someday make a profit off unwanted CO2?

November 18, 2015

The world has a carbon dioxide problem, and to fix it, much attention has been paid to renewable energy sources, which don't emit the greenhouse gas. But what if we could turn waste CO2 into marketable chemicals and fuels ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests trees are crucial to the future of our cities

March 25, 2019

The shade of a single tree can provide welcome relief from the hot summer sun. But when that single tree is part of a small forest, it creates a profound cooling effect. According to a study published today in the Proceedings ...

Matter waves and quantum splinters

March 25, 2019

Physicists in the United States, Austria and Brazil have shown that shaking ultracold Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) can cause them to either divide into uniform segments or shatter into unpredictable splinters, depending ...

Apple pivot led by star-packed video service

March 25, 2019

With Hollywood stars galore, Apple unveiled its streaming video plans Monday along with news and game subscription offerings as part of an effort to shift its focus to digital content and services to break free of its reliance ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.