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February 15, 2008



I saw this on MITs technology review, which is a really good source of information. I suspect it will be a few years before we know if this approach will pan out. If so it would make the everslipping timetables for clean coal actually seem sensible, i.e. why spend big bucks on expensive chemical based carbon capture systems, when there is potentially much more cost effective stuff under research. Of course at this early stage this stuff is probably too uncertain to base policy on.


Well more to the point.

Don't allow em to build coal unless it has CCS.

Without federal funding for it.

Al Fin

Sounds good. Use ZIFs to capture and concentrate CO2 and feed it to the algae, and other biofuel crops. Pure CO2 is worth money as a process reagent, and plants sure love it.


Al Fin: the problem with feeding coal-based co2 to plant matter is that it just re-emerges to the atmosphere eventually and adds to warming. The problem with coal based co2 is that it doesn't belong above the earth's crust at all. If it comes up, it needs to be sent back down to the mineral basis of our environment, permanently.

robert t. anselmi

Why don't we just go nuclear instead? Even now we are buying nuclear generated electricity from Canada. 85% of France's electricity is from nuclear. Please.


But Robert, we are afraid of the N word. So we will have to make this work. Most of the world just isn't as sensible as the French. For those coming up with clever carbon based products to absorb our emmisions, last I heard global CO2 emissions were 26GTons/year. In liquid form (density 1.98g/cm**2) that is over 13 cubic kilometers (3.2 cubic miles). And as our energy consumption goes up, that number does too. Thats an awful lot of product to make.


Promising new technology, but if and when it becomes widely adopted reminds of a situation in which the remedy is aimed at the symptom not the cure. Lowering CO2 should be part of a "global conscience" effort and not as a remedy the to the modern consumer's thwarted instinct, which in turn is wildly exploited by bogus-like "environmentally sensitive" marketeers.

Al Fin

You misunderstand my point. This technology should be good for growing algae and plants, if the CO2 can be economically "caught and released" into a growing environment.

Atmospheric CO2 is another matter entirely. Should a solution to the multi-causal rise in atmospheric CO2 be devised, it would deprive many worthy people of their uttermost passion--CO2 hysteria!

Paul F. Dietz

I was impressed not just by the results, but also by the experimental methodology, where they used automation to rapidly search through thousands of possibilities. This allows nature to be clever without the scientists first having to be (except in setting up the overall scheme). Indeed, it appears they were still cranking out novel materials when they stopped to publish, so we should expect more interesting materials from them.


I think the challenge with powering air conditioning will be significant in warmer climates. Here in Perth Australia, cabin heat can easily climb over 70 C (158 F) when a vehicle is parked in the sun. A huge amount of power is then needed to cool the car down when you get back in. Fisker Automotive’s Karma hybrid has a solar panel to ventilate the cabin when the car’s parked. The Karma is a much higher end car than the Volt, but GM should seriously consider cabin ventilation - at least as an option.


Tim: a commercial aftermarket product which attaches to your window is available. See:
I have never used one of these, so this is not an endorsement. And it lacks the clean profile (probably hidden) that a designed into the vehicle product would have. The popular windshield reflectors also help somewhat.

Dennis Murray

This sounds like a real breakthrough. Is anyone developing this into al real product? How easily are ZIF's transported and the CO2 removed at the destination? Overall it sounds very encouraging.

Paul Calhoun

This is truly impressive. Please keep us up to date on your progress.


Paul Calhoun

Paul Calhoun

This is truly impressive. Please keep us up to date on your progress.


Paul Calhoun

Paul Calhoun

This is truly impressive. Please keep us up to date on your progress.


Paul Calhoun

Paul Calhoun

This is truly impressive. Please keep us up to date on your progress.


Paul Calhoun

Albert Bezzina

Hey a bit late to write in since this post came out three weeks ago.
As regards Zinc-Air cells, is there any chance of using ZIF's to scrub the air from carbon dioxide before it enters the cell which degrades the electrrolyte.
Does it make Zinc-Air cells more useful? Still awating technology that allows in situ electrical recharging though, rather than regenerating the zinc and KOH.

Cody Grimes

Can you purchase CO2 enriched ZIF's? Where? How can the CO2 be extracted from the ZIFS? How can it be transported? Please email [email protected] with any answers.

Dr Yogendra Kumar Tripathi

This is truly impressive


I have been interseted in the concept of filling the Qattara depression to reduce sea levels, make fresh water, and remove CO2 from the seas using the Dealkalyzation principle. Out of 1000 lbs of Medeterranean
seawater roughly 1/4 lb is CO2 products. If the concetration can bae enhanced by 80 times before being dumped. the CO2 situation would be transformed from CO2 in the atmosphere to a 7000 Square mile 300 ft deep bicarbonate pill in the Sahara desert.


Is it possible to use this or a similar product in seawater. We used dealkalyzers in the power industry. CO2 in the form of cabonates, carbonic acids, and bicarbonates are 30 times the amount as in the atmosphere. If they can be removed and dumped in say the Dead Sea or Qattara depression. It can create electricity, lower sea levels, make fresh water and remove CO2 all at the same time.

terry sheppard

the volume of water available in quattara depression and other low areas of middle east if filled would displace several inches of the world sea levels according to my arithmetic The cost of making such a ditch with explosives wouldnt be that much compared to the economic advantages gained as these areas are not very much populated yet the edges of the sea shore of the world generally are The evaporation of water would create more rain in these low rain areas as well

homemade wind power

This is great news. Surely this is going to stop global warming. Still, other forms of generating electricity are needed as fossil fuels dwindle.

Engine Additive

Once again a great job....Always very informative and well thought out. Look forward to the next one!


Does it make Zinc-Air cells more useful? Still awating technology that allows in situ electrical recharging though, rather than regenerating the zinc and KOH.


Truly state of the art to successfully isolate and capture carbon dioxide.

keep up the good work

Paleo Diet Recipes

Very impressive stuff. Can't wait till this material gets put into action.

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It delivers such great thought. Good job.

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I love that students were involved with this- UCLA is a great school, I have a lot of friends who are alumni.

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UCLA, huh? Man USC is going to be mad! Lol

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How amazing, is this working still?

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What is going on with this research currently?

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