Molecule that eats carbon dioxide may fight global warmingBy IANS
Thursday, July 16, 2009
WASHINGTON - The accidental discovery of a bowl-shaped molecule that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air paves the way for exciting new possibilities to deal with global warming.
These possibilities include genetically engineering microbes to manufacture those carbon dioxide “catchers”, said J.A. Tossell, a Maryland University scientist who led the study.
He noted that another scientist discovered the molecule while doing research unrelated to global climate change.
Carbon dioxide was collecting in the molecule, and the scientist realised that it was coming from air in the lab. Tossell recognised that these qualities might make it useful as an industrial absorbent for removing carbon dioxide.
Tossell’s new computer modelling studies found that the molecule might be well-suited for removing carbon dioxide directly from air, in addition to its previously described potential use as an absorbent for carbon dioxide from electric power plants and other smoke stacks.
“It is also conceivable that living organisms may be developed which are capable of replacing structurally ion receptors within their cell membranes,” the report noted.
These findings are slated for publication in the Aug 3 issue of Inorganic Chemistry.