Wednesday January 29, 2020
Home Environment This New Mate...

This New Material Can Capture Pollutants And Convert Them Into Useful Industrial Chemicals

New material turns toxic air pollutants into industrial chemicals

0
//
Industrial chemicals
The metal-organic framework (MOF) material can convert pollutants into industrial chemicals. Pixabay

An international team of scientists has developed a new material that can capture a toxic pollutant produced by burning fossil fuels and convert it into useful industrial chemicals using only water and air.

The technology could lead to air pollution control and help remedy the negative impact nitrogen dioxide has on the environment.

The metal-organic framework (MOF) material provides a selective, fully reversible and repeatable capability to capture nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a toxic air pollutant produced particularly by diesel and bio-fuel use, said the study published in the journal Nature Chemistry.

The NO2 can then be easily converted into nitric acid, a multi-billion dollar industry with uses including, agricultural fertiliser for crops; rocket propellant and nylon.

MOFs are tiny three-dimensional structures which are porous and can trap gasses inside, acting like cages.

“This is the first MOF to both capture and convert a toxic, gaseous air pollutant into a useful industrial commodity,” said Sihai Yang, a lead author and a senior lecturer at University of Manchester in Britain.

Pollutants into industrial chemicals
MOFs are tiny three-dimensional structures which can trap gasses inside and convert them into idustrial chemicals. Pixabay

“It is also interesting that the highest rate of nitrogen dioxide uptake by this MOF occurs at around 45 degrees Centigrade, which is about the temperature of automobile exhausts.”

The material, named MFM-520, can capture nitrogen dioxide at ambient pressures and temperatures — even at low concentrations and during flow — in the presence of moisture, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, said the study.

The highly efficient mechanism in this new MOF was characterised by researchers using neutron scattering and synchrotron X-ray diffraction at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Berkeley National Laboratory, respectively.

Also Read- Pollution Causes Skin Related Problems: Health Experts

The team also used the National Service for Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at Manchester to study the mechanism of adsorption of nitrogen dioxide in MFM-520.

“The global market for nitric acid in 2016 was $2.5 billion, so there is a lot of potential for manufacturers of this MOF technology to recoup their costs and profit from the resulting nitric acid production. Especially since the only additives required are water and air,” Martin Schroder, Professor at University of Manchester. (IANS)

Next Story

Scientists Recreate Voice of an Egyptian Priest Who Lived 3,000 Years Ago

The researchers suggest that their proof-of-concept recreation of a vocal tract preserved over three millennia has implications for the way in which the past is presented to the public in the present

0
Egyptian
The Egyptian priest Nesyamun lived during the politically volatile reign of the pharaoh Ramses XI over 3000 years ago, working as a scribe and priest at the state temple of Karnak in Thebes (modern Luxor). IANS

Scientists have succeeded in accurately reproducing the voice of an Egyptian priest who lived 3,000 years ago, thanks to the mummification process and the use of 3D printing technology.

The scientists created the 3-D printed vocal tract based on measurements of the precise dimensions of his extant vocal tract following computed tomography (CT) scanning.

The acoustic output is a single sound, falling between the vowels in the English words ‘bed’ and ‘bad’, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The Egyptian priest Nesyamun lived during the politically volatile reign of the pharaoh Ramses XI over 3000 years ago, working as a scribe and priest at the state temple of Karnak in Thebes (modern Luxor).

His voice was an essential part of his ritual duties which involved spoken as well as sung elements. The precise dimensions of an individual’s vocal tract produce a unique sound. If the dimensions of a vocal tract can be established, vocal sounds can be synthesized by using a 3D-printed vocal tract and an electronic larynx.

Egyptian Art, Sarcophagus, Pharaoe, Ancient, Egypt
Scientists have succeeded in accurately reproducing the voice of an Egyptian priest who lived 3,000 years ago, thanks to the mummification process and the use of 3D printing technology. Pixabay

For this to be feasible, the soft tissue of the vocal tract needs to be reasonably intact. David Howard of University of London and his colleagues used non-destructive CT to confirm that a significant part of the structure of the larynx and throat of the mummified body of the Nesyamun remained intact as a result of the mummification process.

This allowed the authors to measure the vocal tract shape from CT images. Based on these measurements, the authors created a 3D-printed vocal tract for Nesyamun and used it with an artificial larynx commonly used in speech synthesis.

ALSO READ: Pakistani-Canadian Author Tarek Fatah: University Campus is not Immune to Politics

The researchers suggest that their proof-of-concept recreation of a vocal tract preserved over three millennia has implications for the way in which the past is presented to the public in the present. It may provide an opportunity to hear the vocal tract output of an individual that lived in ancient times. (IANS)