From: Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Published January 9, 2017 12:04 PM

Crystallization method offers new option for carbon capture from ambient air

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a simple, reliable process to capture carbon dioxide directly from ambient air, offering a new option for carbon capture and storage strategies to combat global warming. 

Initially, the ORNL team was studying methods to remove environmental contaminants such as sulfate, chromate or phosphate from water. To remove those negatively charged ions, the researchers synthesized a simple compound known as guanidine designed to bind strongly to the contaminants and form insoluble crystals that are easily separated from water. 

In the process, they discovered a method to capture and release carbon dioxide that requires minimal energy and chemical input. Their results are published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition

“When we left an aqueous solution of the guanidine open to air, beautiful prism-like crystals started to form,” ORNL’s Radu Custelcean said. “After analyzing their structure by X-ray diffraction, we were surprised to find the crystals contained carbonate, which forms when carbon dioxide from air reacts with water.”

Read more at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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