Carbon Sequestration Using Amine Sponges

Lynne Kiesling

This certainly qualifies for a “how cool is that?”: new research on amine sponges to separate and absorb carbon dioxide from flue gas. The idea is that they make a sponge material customized specifically to absorb carbon dioxide by combining amines with different metals to create pores of the right size.

The researchers built pores to measure by blending the metals cobalt or zinc with imidazolates – chemicals related to the amino acid histidine. Banerjee likens these pores to rooms served by a revolving door.

“The beauty of the chemistry is that we have the freedom to choose what kind of door we want, and what goes through it,” he says.

This is only one of several interesting carbon sequestration technologies, including the baking soda and piping the carbon dioxide to where it’s useful.