Scientists create material that catches greenhouse gases faster than trees

Scientists create material that catches greenhouse gases faster than treesScientists create material that catches greenhouse gases faster than trees
via Pixabay
Researchers from the U.K. and China have developed a material capable of storing greenhouse gases, offering a new and innovative tool against global warming.
Key points:
  • The new porous material has a unique “cage of cages” structure that significantly enhances greenhouse gas storage capabilities.
  • Researchers utilized computer modeling in developing the material.
  • The invention could dramatically improve environmental clean-up efforts and has potential uses in medical science.
The details:
  • The material consists of hollow, cage-like molecules capable of capturing large amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and sulfur hexafluoride. The latter is known to be more potent and can linger for thousands of years in the atmosphere.
  • The researchers utilized computer modeling techniques to accurately predict how the molecules would arrange themselves into the new type of material. The result is the first of its kind in its porous “cage of cages” structure.
  • The material is a product of collaboration between Heriot-Watt University, the University of Liverpool, Imperial College London, the University of Southampton and East China University of Science and Technology. Findings are published in the journal Nature Synthesis.
  • Dr. Marc Little, who jointly led the research, emphasized the material’s potential for addressing critical environmental challenges by efficiently capturing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. He highlighted the role of AI in accelerating the discovery and development of new materials, suggesting that future applications could include removing volatile organic compounds from the air and advancing medical science.
  • The development of such materials is seen as essential for direct air capture technologies, which are needed to reduce existing atmospheric greenhouse gases, a task trees perform slowly and at limited scale.
  • “Planting trees is a very effective way to absorb carbon, but it’s very slow. So we need a human intervention – like human-made molecules – to capture greenhouse gases efficiently from the environment more quickly,” Dr. Little added.
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