Molecular cage traps rare gases

Molecular cage traps rare gases

Organic compound could cull valuable xenon from the air and detect cancer-causing radon

By Beth Mole, 13:32 PM July 24, 2014

With a squeeze, an organic molecule can snatch rare gases from the air.

The compound contains cavities that are just the right size to nab atoms of xenon, krypton and radon. These noble gases range from valuable to radioactive; they’re all largely inert, usually present in low or negligible concentrations in the air and extremely difficult to capture. Researchers hope the new molecular trap could one day be used to sort radioactive waste gas, monitor home air and collect valuable resources.

“I w...

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