Researchers perfecting technique to suck carbon from airJanuary 13th, 2009 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Jan 13 (IANS) Researchers are working on a new technique to extract carbon dioxide from the air and cut down pollution levels.The research, being conducted by University of Tasmania, could also lead to methods of recycling climate change pollutants to become environmentally-friendly compounds.
Chief project investigator Brian Yates said the research was part of a broader project to develop a model for breaking strong bonds that form the components of molecules, and how these compounds react with metal complexes.
Yates, a professor, said these principles developed over six years for this model - in collaboration with Australian National University (ANU) chemistry professor Rob Stranger - aim to create a platform where atmospheric pollutants, such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, can be removed from the air.
“We are using nature’s guidance to work with these metals,” Yates said.
“This experiment is about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reacting with compounds in such a way that it takes the pollutant, breaks it apart, and turns it into something less toxic - possibly better for the environment,” he added.
“This process will involve recycling the pollutants to form esters which are natural and artificial compounds that give fruit, such as banana, pear and orange their characteristic flavours and odours.”
Experiments already conducted for this model by separating two-atom components have proven successful.
Carbon dioxide tests, as part of the new three-atom component research, will be conducted in University of Tasmania labs, along with trials to add components to molecules without complete breaking of the strong bonds, said a Tasmania release.
Yates said America’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, is developing systems to take the lab results into the environment.
These findings were published in the Journal of American Chemical Society.