A new catalyst for the removal of carbon dioxide from industrial emissions

The current method of removing greenhouse gas — carbon dioxide — from the chimneys of coal power plants require so much power that no one even thinks about its practical application. Fortunately, Roger Eyns and his research team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Lawrence (USA) have developed a completely new catalyst for the separation and capture of CO2, which mimics the natural enzyme that works is in our lungs.

Having succeeded in this case, the laboratory, the general view has become a true global leader in the development of catalysts that mimic the behavior of natural enzymes.

This small molecule catalyst — a modernized cycle — mimics the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which separates, captures and displays the CO2 out of the blood and tissues. Carbonic anhydrase — the fastest known natural enzymes. For years, scientists are considering the possibility of adapting it to capture the carbon emitted in the form of industry dioxide. Unfortunately, this idea is nothing good and I got nothing, since carbonic anhydrase does not transfer heat, which in this case is unavoidable: hot and sour exhaust gas is almost instantaneous degradation of the enzyme.

Scientists have offered their own molecule that behaves like carbonic anhydrase, but can withstand severe conditions of hot productions. In order to find potential candidates for the role of Deputy anhydrase conducted computer simulations to determine the optimal design for the protection of a member of the zinc ion molecules and activate it (zinc and is an active catalytic site, just as it is in the nature of the enzyme). It is worth noting that prior to the chemical laboratory to reach only about 2% of all the structures recommended by the theory. Each synthesized molecules tested for stability in the complex temperature and acidic conditions, and then determines the nature of its kinetic behavior. For eighteen years, scientists synthesized nine catalysts, and the name of the finalists are from the traditional title of the series around the zinc ion — Cycles (organometallic complex, in which the cycle acts as a ligand for the zinc ion).

Now a test batch of the catalyst weight of 1 kg is aimed at field trials, which will be held at one of the U.S. plants. It is assumed that the catalyst will form a monolayer at the water interface — gas. Expected to flow fast reaction between water and carbon dioxide catalyzed cyclo-zinc complex, with the formation of bicarbonate ions and protons.

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