Is it not interesting to hear that in future there may be artificial trees that can absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide(CO2).It is possible because the researchers in California have developed a cheap plastic which can absorb large amounts of CO2.
George Olah,a chemist at University of Southern California who has also won the noble prize for Nobel prize in chemistry(1994),suggested that hydrogen stripped from water can be combined with CO2 to form mehtanol fuel.Olah ,along with his colleagues, was also working on iron based batteries that could generate more power by grabbing oxygen from the air.But even if small amount of carbon dioxide enter into the reaction it will not work. So they started to find out CO2 absorbers and came up with good ones like zeolites but as they were expensive they were left out.
After that they turned their attention on Polyethylenimine(PEI) a cheap polymer which is a good CO2 absorber. But it absorbs CO2 only at its surface. They dissolved PEI on the top of fused silica, an industrial porous solid.When the solvent got evaporated ,solid PEI had a good surface area.When they tested it they found that each gram of material has the capability to absorb an average of 1.72 moles of CO2.It was reported in the Journal Of American Chemical Society.PEI also can be easily regenerated by heating the saturated PEI to 85°C.
This polymer could be very useful for producing large amount of artificial trees that could help to remove the atmospheric CO2 concentration preventing the worst climate change ravages.But its possible only if the countries are willing to spend more money in this project.As the polymer degrades at high temperature it can’t be used it industries or automobiles where the CO2 usually comes at high temperature. Prakash,a chemist and member at USC , says that the team is working to produce PEI that do not degarade at high temperature.