British scientists have made a breakthrough with success in the so-called “Carbon-Capture” technology that has potential to turn around the climate change debate forever.
The scientists at Queen’s University, Belfast have made a “porous liquid” which can dissolve unusually high amounts of gas, which are absorbed into the ‘holes’ in the liquid.
Prof. Stuart James of Queen’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering along with colleagues at the University of Liverpool and other international partners was able to find the porous liquid that can ultimately lead to carbon capture or trapping carbon diaxide from major sources, say a fossil-fuel power plant, and storing it to prevent its entry into the atmosphere.
Some materials which contain permanent holes, or pores, are used for manufacturing a range of products from plastic bottles to petrol. These are essentially solid materials. “What we have done is to design a special liquid from the ‘bottom-up’ – we designed the shapes of the molecules which make up the liquid so that the liquid could not fill up all the space,” explained Prof. James.
The empty holes helped the liquid to dissolve unusually large amounts of gas,making it an entirely a new material to use in carbon-capture technology of the future with long-term applications which rely on dissolution of gases.
“We have managed to demonstrate a very new principle – that by creating holes in liquids we can dramatically increase the amount of gas they can dissolve. These remarkable properties suggest interesting applications in the long term,” he said.