An Eco-Friendly Company Since 2006!
    Join Now! 
Twitter YouTube RSS

Earth Blog

Individuals can help us by telling others, by being involved in the Earth Blog, by sharing your ideas with us and by forwarding your support to companies who you think should get involved!

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 14 January 2012
in Clean Energy Technology

Carbon Dioxide Scrubbing May Get Easier

Carbon dioxide (CO2), though naturally occurring, is considered detrimental at the levels humans areConesville_Power_Plant_033 releasing into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. Greenhouse gases, like CO2, trap heat in the atmosphere and keep the planet from getting too cold but the amount we are producing could be making it too hot and global warming is not just another way of forecasting “awesome beach weather.”  The carbon cycle can remove some CObut not as quickly as we need it to because of our high emission rate. Current methods of removal are energy intensive and inefficient and scientists are reporting that they have discovered an improved way to remove COfrom smokestacks and the open air.  

Chemistry Nobel Laureate George A. Olah,  Alain Goeppert, and G. K. Surya Prakash worked with colleagues to test “solid materials based on polyethylenimine, a readily available and inexpensive polymeric material” to reduce CO2 emissions. They even tested the material in humid conditions that would normally make “scrubbing” CO2 from the air difficult. 

The group used a “silica-organic hybrid”, FS-PEI which is “based on fumed silica impregnated with polyethylenimine,” as the solid adsorbent for their studies. The use of the word “adsorbent” is not a typo in this instance.The difference between the word “adsorbent” and “absorbent” is not just the “d.”

Absorbing is a process we see often, a material sucking up a liquid or gas, like a paper towel absorbs water. Adsorbing is different because the material does not take in the liquid or dissolved solid but instead let’s it accumulate on the surface. Now that we have, hopefully, properly explained the difference between the two processes let’s get back to FS-PEI. 

“The researchers suggest the materials may be useful on submarines, in smokestacks or out in the open atmosphere, where they could clean up carbon dioxide pollution that comes from small point sources like cars or home heaters, representing about half of the total CO2 emissions related to human activity.”

Does this mean the material could eventually be sold for use in the home? Perhaps in a way similar to desiccant packages which are used to prevent moisture damage to electronics and shoes?  The scientists spoke of the material’s ability to be re-used, “After capturing carbon dioxide, the materials give it up easily so that the CO2 can be used in making other substances, or permanently isolated from the environment. The capture material then can be recycled and reused many times over without losing efficiency.” 

Will we one day see recycling centers that will take this material to extract the COand then return the material back to use again? Or maybe there will be a company that is in charge of sending a worker to professionally extract the CO2 and then take it to a factory that uses the material at a faster rate than a residence? The scientists believe their findings are promising and more research is needed. If the material is indeed as effective as they’ve found there may be a push to make it easy for home use. There may be a far-off day when we go to the store and our list will read: “bananas, bread, milk, COscrubber.”

0 votes
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

Comments

Image Caption

1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

Image Caption

1945: Delivered to US Army.

Image Caption

1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

Image Caption

1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

Image Caption

1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

Image Caption

1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

Image Caption

1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

Image Caption

1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

Image Caption

1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

Image Caption

2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

Image Caption

2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

Image Caption

2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

Image Caption

2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

Image Caption

2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

Image Caption