News / Asia

Australian Researchers: Carbon Capture Technology Well Advanced

Diaa Bekheet

Scientists in Australia are seeking to develop so-called "molecular sponges" that will soak up carbon gases and help reduce greenhouse gas pollution.  Researchers at Sydney University have produced crystals full of microscopic holes that can retain gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.  The aim is to use the crystals in power stations.  

Scientists say Australia is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and warmer temperatures.  Australia also has some of the world's highest per capita rates of greenhouse gas emissions.  Many in the scientific community blame greenhouse gases for the vast island's climatic shifts.

To reduce such gases, academics in Sydney are developing tiny sponges that could soak up 90 per cent of emissions from coal-fired power stations that generate most of Australia's electricity.

Dr. Deanna D'Alessandro is a molecular chemist at the University of Sydney.  She says the sponges, though small, have enormous absorbency.

"You could think of them a little like your kitchen sponge, so they are really absorbent," D'Alessandro said. "They can take up a huge amount of liquid or gas, so, in fact, if you took a tea spoon of one of the best materials we have at the moment, then it would actually have a surface area which was about the equivalent to a rugby field.  These are really highly porous materials and it basically means they can absorb a huge amount of gas. In our case greenhouse gases like CO2."    

Similar work is going on elsewhere, including Germany.

Conservationists say this type of research could give Australia the chance to clean up its dirty industrial processes.

Kellie Caught, the head of climate change at the campaign group WWF Australia, believes it would give the country time to explore longer-term renewable alternatives to burning fossil fuels.

"These technologies that can capture carbon dioxide and then store them will be beneficial in terms of retro-fitting to those coal and gas-fired power stations as well as those industrial processes," Caught said. "But these technologies don't capture 100 per cent of the carbon dioxide, so what it really means is that we need to be investing a lot more in zero-emission technologies if we want to get to zero emissions essentially."  

The Sydney team also believes its "molecular sponges" could help drive a new generation of hydrogen-powered cars.  The belief is that abundant supplies of the gas could be crammed into small units that would keep an average vehicle on the road for hundreds of kilometers.

Other scientists and many farmers in Australia have cast doubt on the effect of man-made pollution on the climate.  They stress that shifts in temperatures and sea levels are part of a natural cycle.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs