A crystalline material composed of metal and organic building blocks holds more carbon dioxide than other porous substances do, chemists report. The discovery could lead to a device that reduces power plant emissions of this greenhouse gas.
About 40 percent of the carbon dioxide released in the United States in 2003 came from electric power plants, according to the Department of Energy. A potential strategy for reducing emissions is to fit plant flues with materials that capture the gas from exhaust.
Metal-organic frameworks had previously stored hydrogen (SN: 6/14/03, p. 382: Available to subscribers at Convenient hydrogen storage?). In the new study, Omar M. Yaghi and Andrew R. Millward of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor measured the adsorption of carbon dioxide by nine different frameworks, each composed of organic compounds and either zinc or copper.
The researchers exposed each framework to increasing amounts of carbon dioxide