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Researchers Create Renewable Carbon Dioxide Sponge 206

First time accepted submitter Babu V Bassa writes "Concerned about adding too much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere? Consider a roof top coating on your car with this new material. A multinational team of researchers have developed a renewable sponge like material to capture and store gaseous carbon dioxide. The organic material is made up of gamma-cyclodextrin. Conventional metal-organic frameworks, which also are effective at adsorbing carbon dioxide, are usually prepared from materials derived from crude oil and often incorporate toxic heavy metals and are also non-renewable. The research paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society claims that its synthesis is essentially carbon-neutral and have the demonstrated ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere makes them promising materials for carbon fixation."
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Researchers Create Renewable Carbon Dioxide Sponge

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  • Re:Redundent.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by NewWorldDan ( 899800 ) <> on Sunday September 25, 2011 @02:51PM (#37509218) Homepage Journal

    To be fair, though, unless stored properly in a dry environment, wood will decay and release the carbon. If you want to store it forever, you need to bake it down into charcoal. Then you can bury it in the ground. Where it can later be dug up to fuel a power plant.

    In any event, I don't know who is supporting research for this retarded carbon dioxide sponge, but it needs to stop. There are so many more important things that could be done with that time and money. Feeding the poor, curing diseases, providing me with high end hookers and a pile of coke the size of Rhode Island. You get the idea.

  • Re:Redundent.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by MikeUW ( 999162 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @03:07PM (#37509270)

    I recall seeing a documentary that included a study of this. IIRC, there was a measurable increase in plant production, but not an increase in nutrients. So, it's not going to help (and may instead degrade) the quality of your vegetables, although perhaps trees/bamboo used for construction material will improve (but maybe other qualitative aspects would be reduced, such as strength of the material). However, I think the increased level of CO2 required to measure this was beyond anything we're likely to see...but it was a long time ago, so I don't remember the details or who did the study.

  • Re:Redundent.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by blueg3 ( 192743 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @03:15PM (#37509310)

    Wood already works for "carbon fixation" and you can make things with it that people will actually keep. My mother has some "fixated carbon" in the living room over 100 years old. Just grow a tree and make a desk.

    Apparently the IPCC agrees with you, even. However, relying on wood as a sole means of carbon sequestration requires [] planting far more trees than we can reasonably dedicate land to.

    Planting trees to counteract CO2 emissions is cheap and effective, but it's not enough. We already know how to do it, so you're probably not going to see any news about new advances in tree-planting technology on Slashdot.

  • Re:Redundent.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 25, 2011 @03:36PM (#37509398)

    Absorption-limited nutrient supply from the soil / more vegetable mass produced = less nutrients per pound. Do you have to be so rude?

  • Re:Redundent.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @03:36PM (#37509400) Homepage Journal

    Actually, his point is fairly sound if you assume the primary growth constraint on plants is the availability of CO2 (although the composition of most fertilizers proves it isn't.)

    The assumption is that, when more carbon dioxide is readily available, plants will grow more. However, since the availability of other nutrients (especially exotic minerals and ions) isn't increasing, there will be less of these nutrients to spread amongst the increased number of plants. Hence, vegetables and other crops that are less able to pass on these nutrients to the people eating them.

    Of course, this is all irrelevant, because plants have a huge excess of CO2 in the present atmosphere and are generally prevented from growing due to the lack of free nitrogen and phosphorus. Incidentally, I believe more than a few people have suggested (and perhaps even implemented) dumping fertilizer into the oceans to make the resultant algal blooms suck up more CO2. This is a double-edged sword, in that the blooms block out sunlight for plants growing on the ocean floor, but also eventually die off and provide a substantial food boon to the animals near the surface.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @03:59PM (#37509506)

    its 20 times worse than c02in regards to global warming.

    But there's more than 200x as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as there is methane.

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gma i l .com> on Sunday September 25, 2011 @04:18PM (#37509608) Journal

    The Chinese are building more nuclear plants these days and electric scooters are very popular there. I wouldn't be surprised to see them become more environmentally friendly than the US in the next 15-30 years.

  • by clonan ( 64380 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @04:43PM (#37509716)

    Because methane is a pretty reactive molecule. So it reacts spontaneously. In the atmosphere Methane has a half life of about 8 years.

    We don't worry much about methane for the same reason we don't worry about H2O. Water vapor causes roughly 60% of all greenhouse effects yet since a water molecule on is in the atmosphere for about 9 days there is not much to worry about.

    Co2 has a half life of centuries. So while boiling water on the stove stays in the atmosphere for a few days and cow farts stay in the air for a decade, CO2 stays up there for centuries.

  • Re:Do the math... (Score:4, Informative)

    by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @07:06PM (#37510438)
    Yes, eventually the trees will sequester the carbon, but they cannot sequester it fast enough to prevent the concentration of carbon dioxide form rising steeply due to humans burning fossil fuels. That's why the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen steadily [] since the industrial revolution. Again, check your math. Yes, it's harder than sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting "LALALALA! I can't hear you!"

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner