Navigation Links
Collecting carbon in a concrete jungle
Date:11/30/2011

Land unsuitable for tree planting could still be used to reduce levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere thanks to new research.

Microscopic tubes that suck in carbon dioxide from the air are being developed by chemists, engineers and medical researchers at the University of Edinburgh, with funding from the RCUK Energy Programme, led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Just one 1m2 unit containing the tiny tubes could adsorb (suck in) the same amount of carbon as 10 average trees.

In the future larger versions of the units could be placed alongside places like motorways or on rooftops to make better use of land and spaces in reducing our carbon footprint.

If the technical hurdles are successfully overcome, a patentable unit could be developed and available for purchase within five years.

Each individual tube will be around 1 micrometre long and just 1 nanometre in diameter (1 micrometre is 1 millionth of a metre, 1 nanometre is 1 billionth of a metre). They will be made of pure carbon with some additional chemical groups that will attract and trap the carbon dioxide.

Once saturated with carbon 'used' tubes will be regenerated by a rapid heat pulse generated from a renewable energy source, such as a solar cell, and the carbon dioxide will be concentrated and stored in small canisters. These canisters may be exchanged periodically for fresh ones as part of a regular collection round.

"The tube material will be specially designed at the nanoscale to be highly porous, in order to adsorb as much carbon dioxide as possible," says Professor Eleanor Campbell, who is leading the project. "A key task is to engineer the chemistry of the tubes so that they only adsorb carbon dioxide without taking water vapour, for instance, out of the air as well."

The filled carbon dioxide canisters could be transported to a special facility where the carbon can be collected prior to secure disposal deep underground using carbon capture and storage technology, the development of which the University is also prominently involved with through the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) consortium. Alternatively, the carbon dioxide could be converted into added-value chemicals using novel catalytic reactions that are currently being developed at the university and elsewhere.

The project team will look at a whole range of issues, such as a unit's potential purchase price, its appearance and its optimum dimensions.

The views of the public were canvassed at an event which took place on 5 November 2011 in Edinburgh.

"In some ways, the unit would work like an artificial tree," says Professor Campbell. "A key advantage of course is that the units could be used in built-up urban areas where tree planting is not possible."


'/>"/>

Contact: EPSRC Press Office
pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk
44-179-344-4404
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New guidance issued for first responders collecting suspected biothreat agents
2. Carbon nanostructures form the future of electronics and optoelectronics
3. Growth in the global carbon budget
4. Carbon sinks: Issues, markets, policy
5. Carbon dioxide scrubber captures greenhouse gases
6. UNC study on properties of carbon nanotubes, water could have wide-ranging implications
7. Study: Tropical wetlands hold more carbon than temperate marshes
8. Diatom genome helps explain success in trapping excess carbon in oceans
9. Earthworm activity can alter forests carbon-carrying capabilities
10. Global warming predicted to hasten carbon release from peat bogs
11. Revised theory suggests carbon dioxide levels already in danger zone
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ARMONK, N.Y. and ITHACA, N.Y. ... IBM ) and Cornell University, a leader in dairy ... combined with bioinformatics designed to help reduce the chances ... breaches. With the onset of this dairy project, Cornell ... the Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain, a ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... -- RAM Group , Singaporean based technology ... biometric authentication based on a novel  quantum-state ... perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on a ... Group and its partners. This sensor will have widespread ... security. Ram Group is a next generation sensor ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At its ... announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist of ... been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ASTER ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider ... nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will launch ... for communication among health care professionals to enhance the patient ... office staff, and other health care professionals to help women ... cancer. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal ... growth period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SANTA CRUZ, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... SBIR grant from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single ... preparation kit for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from ... Cell Analysis Program highlights the need to accelerate development ... "New techniques for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: