The Daily Evergreen

Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

Group uses metal-organic frameworks composed of cobalt ions, materials

Xiahui+Zhang%2C+research+assistant+in+the+School+of+Mechanical+and+Materials+Engineering%2C+talks+about+a+new+separation+technique+that+could+lead+to+reduced+carbon+dioxide+emissions+Monday+at+the+Engineering+Teaching%2FResearch+Building.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

Xiahui Zhang, research assistant in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, talks about a new separation technique that could lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions Monday at the Engineering Teaching/Research Building.

Xiahui Zhang, research assistant in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, talks about a new separation technique that could lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions Monday at the Engineering Teaching/Research Building.

OLIVIA WOLF | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Xiahui Zhang, research assistant in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, talks about a new separation technique that could lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions Monday at the Engineering Teaching/Research Building.

OLIVIA WOLF | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

OLIVIA WOLF | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Xiahui Zhang, research assistant in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, talks about a new separation technique that could lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions Monday at the Engineering Teaching/Research Building.

CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A WSU research team is working on solutions to climate change.

A new process could capture and separate carbon dioxide from gases emitted from industrial processes.

The main reason they are researching this separation is climate change.

“CO2 is a greenhouse gas, right?” said Xiahui Zhang, research assistant in the WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. “If we can capture, collect and store CO2 without releasing [it] back to the environment … we can reduce the CO2 emissions, and then this can help climate change.”

 

JACOB BERTRAM | THE DAILY EVERGREEN
Min-Kyu Song, assistant professor in the WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, says the group uses metal-organic frameworks made up of cobalt ions and ligands.

 

To do this, the group uses metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that are made up of cobalt ions and ligands, which are organic materials that link the ions together, said Min-Kyu Song, assistant professor in the WSU School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

The research group has been using simulated gases made up of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, Zhang said.

The MOFs they make are porous, Zhang said. The pores allow the nitrogen and carbon dioxide to diffuse through them.

To separate and capture carbon dioxide in dynamic, or fast, gas flow conditions, there is a possibility that pressure can build when using nanomaterials, which refers to the size of the materials used, Song said. The gas cannot necessarily flow through the nanomaterials.

The MOFs that WSU researchers have created use nanorods, which are metal ions in the shape of small, hollow rods, he said.

Zhang said the hollow nanorods permit the gas to diffuse faster than typical MOF structures, which allows for quicker separation. Other MOFs only operate in equilibrium, or slow, gas flow conditions.

The MOFs have three different pore sizes: micropores, mesopores and macropores. This allows the gas to easily enter it, Song said.

The cobalt ions bond with carbon dioxide while the nitrogen diffuses through because the ions have a weaker bond with the nitrogen, Song said.

The MOFs’ absorption, or bonding, and release of the carbon dioxide is one cycle, Zhang said. One way to release carbon dioxide is to chemically convert it to other organic materials by adding a hydrogen-containing molecule.

By releasing the carbon dioxide, the MOF can be reused, Zhang said. The research group has tested 10 cycles and found that the performance does not degrade. It will need to be tested for the long-term later, he said.

However, at some point, the MOFs’ capacity will degrade, Song said.

Zhang said power plants do have processes to separate carbon dioxide from their exhaust gases. They use a solution to absorb carbon dioxide, but it is difficult to reuse the solution. If they reused it, the cost would decrease.

“One of the main motivations is to address our concerns relevant to climate change and global warming,” Song said.

About the Writer
CHERYL AARNIO, Evergreen reporter

Cheryl is a freshman multimedia journalism major from Kirkland, Washington.

1 Comment

One Response to “Researchers separate gas, combat climate change”

  1. Ed Walker on March 8th, 2019 9:33 pm

    Interesting, and a good start. I did not see any discussion relating to the contamination that will always be found in the real world, that may be a big hurdle to pass.

Social Media Policy

The Office of Student Media

The purpose of the comment section is to foster courteous and constructive discussion of relevant issues. The Daily Evergreen staff reserve the right to delete any comment we deem at odds with that mission.

We want to establish a fair and open forum for discussion, but personal attacks and threats of any kind actively take away from that purpose. Once we delete a comment we will explain both in the post and through a personal message to the sender as to why it didn’t meet our standards. We will also add a link to our social media policy page on our website. We cannot allow comments that could possibly keep others from speaking their mind on our page.

Prohibited comments include:

  • Comments with directed profanity, bullying, spam, false or misleading statements
  • Comments that could cause physical and emotional harm to any person
  • Offensive language targeted toward a specific group of people
  • Comments that are off-topic
  • Comments that are racist, sexist or bigoted
  • Comments by students working for The Office of Student Media, unless authorized





Navigate Left
  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    News

    Speaker connects mental health, black youth

  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    ASWSU

    ASWSU approves recycling initiative to urge lawmakers

  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    News

    Veterinary college replaces long-lasting MRI machine

  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    Breaking News

    Former WSU employee sentenced after facing minor pornography charges

  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    Local

    Pullman School District enrollment numbers are on the decline

  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    Administration

    Groups request funding from tech fees

  • News

    Todd cafe receives new espresso machine donation

  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    News

    USDA funds WSU biofuel research

  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    News

    Students compete in baseball analytics conference

  • Researchers separate gas, combat climate change

    News

    Spark hosts engineering competition

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Every student. Every story. Every day.
Researchers separate gas, combat climate change