Researchers have shown how a process for the “carbonization” of wheat flour creates numerous tiny pores that capture carbon dioxide, representing a potential renewable technology to reduce the industrial emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“With increasing carbon dioxide emissions, global warming is accelerating, accompanied by abnormal climate changes,” said Vilas Pol, an associate professor in Purdue University’s School of Chemical Engineering and the School of Materials Engineering. “It is imperative to develop efficient methods for capturing carbon dioxide.”
Purdue researchers developed a process that creates carbon compartments from wheat flour. Collaborating with researchers at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, they studied carbon dioxide capture in these unique carbon compartments. The chemical compound potassium hydroxide was used to “activate” — or generate many small pores — in the wheat flour inside a furnace at 700 degrees Celsius.
The carbon dioxide is “adsorbed,” or bound to the material’s surface inside the micropores.