Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tiny molecular bowls pull carbon dioxide out of the air

An unusual bowl-shaped molecule (shown) that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air may provide exciting new possibilities for dealing with global warming, a scientist says. (Credit: The American Chemical Society)

The discovery of a tiny bowl-shaped molecule which collects carbon dioxide right out of the air has beckoned some creative solutions to global warming.

By genetically engineering microbes to manufacture the handy molecule, scientists hope to make it useful as an industrial absorbent for CO2 capture. That could help clean up smokestacks from dirty coal-fired power plants, but it’s also possible that the molecules could be used for pulling carbon dioxide right out of the ambient air.

Tossell's new computer modeling studies found that the molecule might be well-suited for removing carbon dioxide directly from ambient air, in addition to its previously described potential use as an absorbent for CO2 from electric power plant and other smokestacks. "It is also conceivable that living organisms may be developed which are capable of emplacing structurally ion receptors within their cell membranes," the report notes.

Capturing Carbon Dioxide In Tiny Bowls: Global Warming Fix From Microbes? via  CleanTechnica

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