Jul 23, 2019 | Updated: 09:15 AM EDT

Can Glue Stick It to Climate Change?

Jun 24, 2019 11:39 AM EDT

epoxy resin
(Photo : Minderella Creations)
Epoxy Resin (Screenshot taken from video "EPOXY: Mixing, Application and Issues")

In a recent study, researchers from the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University, have proven that glue could be the key to coping up with climate change. The team of researchers has developed a new material capable of capturing greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. The key ingredient of the said material is so common that most people would have it in their homes.

A crucial part of a range of technologies alongside with the renewable and energy efficiency solutions are the carbon capture materials. These materials can help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released by human activity into the atmosphere.

Dr. Enrico Andreoli, the lead researcher of the study, has stated that small epoxy molecules typically found in glues can bond larger molecules together. This would make effective carbon capture materials that have the potential to be useful in tackling climate change.

The study's first author, Dr. Louise Hamdy, stated that they have developed a new approach in making an effective carbon dioxide capture material. They have done this by deriving a widely studied carbon dioxide reactive polyamine by reaction with an industrially mass produced epoxy resin. The researchers stated that the material has a very high carbon dioxide uptake. This has the potential to be used for capturing carbon dioxide from industrial flue gas streams or from the air.

The team of researchers pointed out that it is crucial for carbon dioxide capture technologies to be significantly advanced. However, there are different challenges in achieving technological advancement. These would include material cost, carbon dioxide selectivity, capacity, regeneration, stability to water, and robustness. One of the most promising carbon capture materials that have emerged is the solid carbon dioxide capture materials composed of polyamines supported on alumina or silica.

The scientists stated that finding cross-linked materials modified with hydrophobic additive have captured almost 20% of its weight in pure carbon dioxide at 90°C, which has confirmed a previous hypothesis that the introduction hydrophobic groups can disrupt the internal structure of the material to promote carbon dioxide uptake by the polyamine.

Their study has also confirmed that the functional material was able to perform exceptionally well under humid conditions. which is often a huge challenge for many carbon dioxide sorbent solids. The scientists stated that there is a possibility for this material to be developed for the capture of carbon dioxide directly from there.

Professor Andrew Barron, the founder, and director of the SRI stated that this research is defining a new and promising direction to economical and effective carbon capture materials.

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