Scientists Invent Unique Molecule to Capture Greenhouse Gases

Scientists Invent Unique Molecule to Capture Greenhouse Gases

A team of scientists from the UK and China have synthesized a novel porous material that demonstrates a significant potential for capturing and storing greenhouse gases. This material, featuring a unique molecular structure made of triangular prism-shaped blocks assembled into larger tetrahedral cages, has a strong affinity for gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). SF6, known for its high global warming potential—approximately 23,500 times greater than CO2 over a century—is particularly noteworthy due to its atmospheric longevity, ranging from 800 to 3,200 years.

The researchers emphasize the material's ability to maintain stability in water, an important feature for potential industrial applications involving wet gas streams. Additionally, the porous material could be beneficial in absorbing odors and volatile organic compounds from various sources. This breakthrough presents a promising avenue for mitigating the impact of greenhouse gases on climate change, surpassing the efficacy of current technologies.

The development of the material, referred to as a "cage of cages," was a complex task, relying on the self-assembly of precursor molecules. Despite these challenges, the result is a first-of-its-kind molecular structure with high surface area and solubility, facilitating the absorption of gases. Looking ahead, the research team plans to further adapt the material to capture a wider range of pollutants, including toxic fumes and harmful organic compounds.


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