Solar Sponge to Help with Carbon Capture and Sequestration

19th Feb 2013

Researchers at the Monash University, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSRIO) in Australia have discovered a brand new material that can be used to efficiently capture, store, and release carbon dioxide emissions using sunlight.

The discovered material is a photosensitive metal organic framework (MOF) which can absorb large amounts of carbon, as much as one litre of gas in just one gram of the material, and then release it instantly when it is exposed to sunlight in technique known as dynamic photo-switching.

Dynamic Photo-Switching

The head of the research team at CSIRO, Dr Matthew Hill, describes the dynamic photo-switching technique rather like a sponge, in the way that a sponge can soak up lots of water, and then easily release it as it is squeezed out.

Existing methods for carbon capture use liquid absorbers to capture the gas. These are then heated up in order to release the captured gas where upon it is sent into storage. The whole process can use as much as 30% of the power plants production capacity.

Dr Hill describes the new technology as “an exciting development for carbon capture because concentrated solar energy can be used instead of further coal-based energy to drive the process.”

By. Joao Peixe