British researchers say they've developed a low-cost material that could lead to improved technologies to combat global warming caused by greenhouse gases.
Scientists at the University of Nottingham report their porous material, dubbed NOTT-300, can potentially reduce fossil fuel emissions by offering cheaper and more efficient capture of polluting greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, CO2, and sulphur dioxide, SO2.
The researchers, writing in the journal Nature Chemistry, said the properties of NOTT-300 could provide a greener alternative to existing solutions to adsorb CO2 which are expensive and use large amounts of energy.
"It offers the opportunity for the development of an 'easy on/easy off' capture system that carries fewer economic and environmental penalties than existing technologies," Nottingham research leader Martin Schroder said Monday.
The material is economical to produce, the researchers said, because it is synthesized from relatively simple and cheap organic materials with water as the only solvent.
"There are powerful drivers to develop efficient strategies to remove CO2 using alternative materials that simultaneously have high adsorption capacity, high selectivity for CO2 and high rates of regeneration at an economically viable cost," Schroder said.
"[NOTT-300] shows high uptake of CO2 and SO2. In the case of SO2, this is the highest reported for the class of materials to date," he said.
Dealing with greenhouse gases is of vital importance in the fight against global warming, the researchers said.
"It is widely accepted that it is imperative that the CO2 footprint of human activity is reduced in order to limit the negative effects of global climate change," Schroder said.