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Global warming: French scientists tweak carbon-storing powder

by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) May 5, 2008
French-led technologists said they had beefed up the performance of a nano-powder that stores carbon dioxide (CO2) in what could be a step forward in tackling global warming caused by road traffic.

A cubic metre (35 cubic feet) of the new substance, called MIL-101, is able to capture 400 cu. metres (14,125 cu. feet) of CO2, thanks to pores 3.5 nanometres (billionths of a metre) across, the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) said in a press release.

It outperforms current commercial nano-powders which have maximum pores of 2.2 nanometres.

The powder could have a potential use one day as a filter to help reduce CO2 emissions by road vehicles, lead researcher Gerard Ferey at the Lavoisier Institute in Versailles, near Paris, said.

Capturing and storing CO2 has become one of the most eagerly-explored areas of research in global warming.

The idea is to sequestrate the gas as it is being burned by power plants, factories and vehicles, rather than let it escape into the atmosphere where it will contribute to the greenhouse effect.

The CNRS team is to report on MIL-101 in a forthcoming issue of Langmuir, a journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

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