Squeeze54.jpg16 April 2013

A new ‘solar sponge’ approach to capturing and recycling carbon dioxide uses solar energy, eliminating the need to heat the capture material to release the carbon dioxide.

The new carbon dioxide capture method involves filling a type of material called a metal organic framework (MOF) with light-responsive azobenzene molecules that react to UV light. The MOFs soak up carbon dioxide – much like a sponge soaks up water – and then release the carbon dioxide when triggered by UV light (like wringing out a sponge).

MOFs make light work of carbon dioxide capture


Image: the solar sponge releases carbon dioxide like wringing water out of a sponge.