New powder could help cut CO2 emissions

Scientists created a powder that could capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from factories and power plants.

The advanced carbon powder, developed using a novel process in the lab of Zhongwei Chen, a chemical engineering professor at University of Waterloo, could filter and remove CO2 from emissions at facilities powered by fossil fuels before it is released into the atmosphere with twice the efficiency of conventional materials.



“This will be more and more important in the future,” Chen said. “We have to find ways to deal with all the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels.”

The new process, which involves manipulating the size and concentration of pores, could also be used to produce optimized carbon powders for applications including water filtration and energy storage, the other main strand of research in Chen’s lab.

CO2 molecules stick to the surface of carbon when they come in contact with it, a process known as adsorption. Since it is abundant, inexpensive and environmentally friendly, that makes carbon an excellent material to capture CO2, a greenhouse gas that is the primary contributor to global warming.

source University of Waterloo