Researchers in California have produced a cheap plastic capable of removing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air.


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Researchers in California have produced a cheap plastic capable of removing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air.

The article focuses on how this could save us from global warming. What I see is a possible tool for making the construction of interplanetary spaceships more practical. On any vessel in space, something has to cleanse the air of carbon dioxide. Finding a cheap way to do this makes building those vessels much easier.

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2 comments

  • Patrick Ritchie

    The key for interplanetary travel is not just absorbing the CO2, but recycling it in a (near) closed loop system.

    In that vein the following quote jumped out at me:

    “Once saturated with CO2, the PEI-silica combo is easy to regenerate. The CO2 floats away after the polymer is heated to 85°C. Other commonly used solid CO2 absorbers must be heated to over 800°C to drive off the CO2.”

  • Jim

    To me, what was interesting is that this comes from work spearheaded by George Olah, Nobel Prize winner, and one of the most well known experts in hydrocarbon chemistry. He has worked for quite a while on mitigating problems from greenhouse gasses. He once said:
    “I have developed a promising new approach for solving not only our long range dependence on decreasing fossil fuels (oil, gas, and coal) but also at the same time to mitigate global climate change (warming) caused significantly by derived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.”

    It is interesting to note this came out of their attempt to make cheap iron based batteries that can store energy from renewable sources that will later be fed back to the electrical grid at times of peak demand.
    You never know.

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