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Earth Science Technology

World's First "Porous Liquid" Could Be Used For CO2 Sequestration (gizmag.com) 91

Zothecula sends word that scientists have developed the world's first "porous" liquid that can potentially be used to capture carbon emissions. Gizmag reports: "The Italians have a colorful expression – to make a hole in water – to describe an effort with no hope of succeeding. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast (QUB), however, have seemingly managed the impossible, creating a class of liquids that feature permanent holes at the molecular level. The properties of the new materials are still largely unknown, but what has been gleaned so far suggests they could be used for more convenient carbon capturing or as a molecular sieve to quickly separate different gases."
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World's First "Porous Liquid" Could Be Used For CO2 Sequestration

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  • Prototype (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    This is a wonderful step towards engineering The Blob!

  • 95% of Australian rabbits think this is a fantastic idea. Let's YOLO this shit.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    First of all, CO2 is a trace gas, second it is the weakest of all GHGs, third it is absolutely essential to all plant life which means if should ever drop below 150 ppm, all life will die.

    I'm all for reducing emissions in certain areas of industry for the sake of air quality - but sequestering it ourselves is fucking stupid.

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @08:25PM (#50944211)
      Bad idea. When CO2 levels get too high, water becomes more acidic. This reacts with minerals, causing CO2 to get sequestered faster than we could hope to do ourselves. Even worse is it would be very difficult to get the CO2 back out.
    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      Not to mention that in order to manufacture and/or re-use the material you probably need an energy source which will require - tadaaa - the production of as much CO2 as you sequestered, if not more (because no process is 100% efficient).
      • Let's say a business's activity is to shovel shit out of an area so that it can get somewhat clean and safe, without using motorized vehicles and tools.
        Because you can't be 100% efficient, the people collecting shit and carrying it in carts or bags will produce as much shit if not more, by say shitting themselves while shoveling shit.
        Riiiiight.

        (Disclaimer : there was a hyperbole in that post. Workers can at least put aside their shovel, drop their pants and shit on the ground near them. But there is a minim

        • Let's say that the humans involved, and their shits, are of a regular size. What you have described is a macroscopic process. Some things work differently at different scales. If you scale your humans down to the size of CO2 molecules then you are describing a microscopic process. It is known more commonly as Maxwell's demon, and it does not work. What you are describing is an attempt to fight entropy directly. The shit would not only win, it would probably hit the fan in the process.

          On the macroscopic scal

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        My favourite thing along those lines is the CO2 is not a problem if we use it to make limestone - but all the precursors release a lot of CO2 while being produced. So the answer is cheap energy, which we actually have, but unfortunately it's oil and coal!
  • I'm beginning to think carbon dioxide is the new 'black'. Everyone is so negative about the wonderful molecule.
  • I don't see it. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Monday November 16, 2015 @06:31PM (#50943505) Journal

    So, we're going to synthesize even more products from oil (at who knows what contribution to the CO2 problem) to temporarily sequester the CO2 ... temporary because any molecule that is a better "fit" for the molecular cage will displace the CO2. Plus all the energy implementing the sequestration process by injecting it into the ground... Sort of like fracking ...

    Why not just cut back on fossil fuel burning? Oh no's, can't have that, can we?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why not just cut back on fossil fuel burning? Oh no's, can't have that, can we?

      Actually, no we cannot cut back all that much. Unless you are figuring on systematically reducing the world's population, or hell, just starving them to death. You see, petro-chemicals are used extensively to create fertilizer, and if you stop doing that with oil people are going to starve. Of course we can all just go back to horse and buggy, whale oil lamps and the supportable population of the world we can support with that technology, but somehow I don't figure that the third world is going to accept

      • Re:I don't see it. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by BarbaraHudson ( 3785311 ) <barbarahudson@NOSPaM.gmail.com> on Monday November 16, 2015 @07:33PM (#50943917) Journal

        Why not just cut back on fossil fuel burning? Oh no's, can't have that, can we?

        Actually, no we cannot cut back all that much. Unless you are figuring on systematically reducing the world's population, or hell, just starving them to death. You see, petro-chemicals are used extensively to create fertilizer, and if you stop doing that with oil people are going to starve. Of course we can all just go back to horse and buggy, whale oil lamps and the supportable population of the world we can support with that technology, but somehow I don't figure that the third world is going to accept going backwards further....

        Best we can hope for is to cut down *some* on fossil fuel use by developing other energy sources. Fusion comes to mind as a promising solution..... But that's decades out....Just figure that CO2 emissions are here to stay for your lifetime, because even if you are a baby, they are....

        If we don't cut back population over the long term. we'll all starve to death. And let's be honest, oil is not an infinite resource. Even ignoring global warming, there comes a time when the well goes dry.

        And the problem is not that far away [economist.com] 2050 projections:

        NEW population forecasts from the United Nations point to a new world order in 2050. The number of people will grow from 7.3 billion to 9.7 billion in 2050, 100m more than was estimated in the UN's last report two years ago. More than half of this growth comes from Africa, where the population is set to double to 2.5 billion. Nigeria's population will reach 413m, overtaking America as the world's third most-populous country. Congo and Ethiopia will swell to more than 195m and 188m repectively, more than twice their current numbers. India will surpass China as the world's most populous country in 2022, six years earlier than was previously forecast. China's population will peak at 1.4 billion in 2028; India's four decades later at 1.75 billion. Changes in fertility make long-term projections hard, but by 2100 the planet’s population will be rising past 11.2 billion. It will also be much older. The median age of 30 will rise to 36 in 2050 and 42 in 2100—the median age of Europeans today. A quarter of Europe's people are already aged 60 or more; by 2050 deaths will outnumber births by 32m. The UN warns that only migration will prevent the region's population from shrinking further.

        • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

          And let's be honest, oil is not an infinite resource.

          Well then there's the adibiatic theory (which has not been proven and in fact there is evidence against it) which would point to unlimited oil. But we had better hope that oil is limited, otherwise we really will end up poisoning ourselves. As it is the worst we can possibly do is put back all the CO2 that was originally in the atmosphere to begin with. What remains to be seen is if this is compatible with life.

          • by TimSSG ( 1068536 )
            I corrected your statement to this "What remains to be seen is if this is compatible with [human] life."
            Because high CO2 is definitely compatible with life; the land plants and some animals will likely do very well with a CO2 level that kills off the human race.

            Tim S.

            And let's be honest, oil is not an infinite resource.

            Well then there's the adibiatic theory (which has not been proven and in fact there is evidence against it) which would point to unlimited oil. But we had better hope that oil is limited, otherwise we really will end up poisoning ourselves. As it is the worst we can possibly do is put back all the CO2 that was originally in the atmosphere to begin with. What remains to be seen is if this is compatible with life.

        • People have always been predicting doom and gloom due to population growth, but the world has yet to collapse into the expected dystopia. In my lifetime the world population has almost doubled, but the absolute number of people in extreme poverty has dropped. Significantly. Serious famines made the news regularly when I was a kid. Nowadays you hardly ever hear of any that aren't caused by regional conflict. I'm not saying the world is without problems; just look at the number of severely malnourished kids
          • but the absolute number of people in extreme poverty has dropped.

            As many as 1 billion people are homeless, squatters, or living in a refugee shelter - all lacking proper housing. Just search for world homeless population.

          • Those billions may have (or be able to get) food.
            What about clean water? What about all the pollution they create?

            We have already far exceeded the number of people that the earth can sustain without great suffering for the poorest third of the earth.
      • Actually widespread horse transportation may be unsubstainable. I guess the solution was that most people didn't and never traveled at all in their whole lives ; horse riding tended to be associated with nobility and knighthood.
        On the other hand, with the second industrial revolution we developed a vehicle that's much cheaper and less energy intensive, that's the bicycle (less energy intensive during use than walking)
        Likewise, perhaps LED lighting is a better idea than whale oil lamps, although I hope somet

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      Why not just cut back on fossil fuel burning? Oh no's, can't have that, can we?

      You first. Start by recycling that power burning collection of polymers and rare earths you use to post things. Takes a lot of Chinese coal to make those.

      Didn't think so.

      • Your tone indicates any debate with you is a lost cause but to anyone else, environmental friendliness and modern lifestyles don't have to be mutually exclusive. OP's computer is already built but going forward its easy enough to start being smarter about the environment. In many places its already cheaper to use solar than coal. And batteries are almost cheap and big enough to alleviate all the "but what if it's cloudy" fears for most places outside the Arctic circle.

        As for me first... I have a 7.8kW solar

        • You are going to buy carbon offsets and you want to be taken seriously?

          You have bought in to the religion... I feel sorry for you.

      • Why not just cut back on fossil fuel burning? Oh no's, can't have that, can we?

        You first. Start by recycling that power burning collection of polymers and rare earths you use to post things. Takes a lot of Chinese coal to make those.

        Didn't think so.

        The rare earths will be recycled (we already do this because we are not producing enough to meet demand). Recycling of all electronics is mandatory, and we pay an environment tax to subsidize it, same as we do with tires.

        My modes of transport are, in preference, walk, bicycle, bus. We're planning to switch over to electric buses (powered by hydro) in the next decade (we've been testing them since 2008). The goal is an all-electric fleet.

        Everyone has a recycling box (no sorting needed, so as to encourage u

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
        I live in the third world - studies have shown that I consume far less and produce much less waste than you first worlders. So no, it's your turn :)
        • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

          Always a rational why you aren't supposed to be on the list for "using less." Two others just like you; "I already use less, so I'm exempt. Make someone else use less." Always the same self-serving story.

  • by JMZero ( 449047 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @06:40PM (#50943577) Homepage

    I mean, this is like the core principle of homeopathy. You make permanent holes in the water, and the holes are just the right size for the class of toxins you're dealing with. Then if you want more holes, you dilute the water to make the holes split (obviously you want to be careful with this in practice).

    I thought everyone knew this? How did you guys all think homeopathy worked? Magic?

  • to whosoever comes later.

    First off, this seems far away from applicable but already the sequester CO2 hope arises.
    Do those holey liquids exist in nature or is it another hydrogenated fat flop?

    Now about sequestration, why is it hyped?
    Probably less offensive methods, looking at planting more carbon dumps or grooming or reviving recently destroyed one's are less hip in those rogue capital/profit short time-driven systems?

    Is the radiation loaded nuclear waste with half-times into the multiple mill
    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Molten salt reactors are said to have, in theory, fuel remnants with storage needs of a few centuries rather than tens of millennia.

      • by no-body ( 127863 )

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Molten salt reactors are said to have, in theory, fuel remnants with storage needs of a few centuries rather than tens of millennia.

        Any MSR's producing except experimentals?
        http://www.jonathonporritt.com... [jonathonporritt.com]

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
        Ma - megaannums, million years

        • The main experiments were back in the 1960s. There are some proof-of-concepts for future commercial plants from what I've heard and read. There are some being used to provide power to high-use single users like high-energy research labs I think.

          Nobody's producing power to sell just yet. It's supposed to be soon, though. A Canadian company has a design they're putting into pre-licensing review in the coming months to hopefully be online around 2020. The US DoE which first developed MSRs (a program which Nixo

  • The Italians have a colorful expression – to make a hole in water – to describe an effort with no hope of succeeding

    Clearly no Italian has ever owned a boat.

  • Certainly this is an interesting step but it's really too late already. The gap between the introduction of CO2 and the full effects already put us well beyond the point of no return, the point when human life on earth is no longer possible. That's 15 years from now. I wish it were wrong but it's not. No matter what we do, we have 15 years or so left.
  • Two words: Holey Water :-)
  • Well, what else can you call water with holes in?

  • If you want to help sequester carbon, buy two Christmas trees. 100% of the carbon in the trees comes from the air (is it actually 100%? well, close to 100% anyway) and when the tree goes into the landfill, you have successfully sequestered the carbon. Make sure not to burn your Christmas tree.

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