A lot of carbon dioxide ends up in our oceans and not just in the atmosphere. Now, researchers have designed “nanojars” that can capture CO2 and other pollutants from the oceans.
New Atlas explains that these nanojars are essentially molecules consisting of a copper ion, a pyrazole group and a hydroxide in repeating units, suspended in an organic solvent. When the nanojars come in contact with -2 -charged ions, often found in major pollutants like arsenate, chromate, phosphate and carbonate, the nanojars wrap around the target and neutralize it.
“We’ve shown that we can extract chromate and arsenate to below US Environmental Protection Agency-permitted levels for drinking water – really, really low levels,” says Gellert Mezei, a scientist on the project to New Atlas.
When the nanojars have finished their job they can be removed from the water easily because they float on top of the water.
After the nanojars have been removed, the ions trapped inside can be removed without difficulty using a weak acid. The ions can then be destroyed safely or recycled into useful products.
Read the whole study: American Chemical Society — ‘Nanojars’ capture dissolved carbon dioxide, toxic ions from water