An international team co-led by an Oregon State University chemistry researcher has uncovered a better way to scrub carbon dioxide from smokestack emissions, which could be a key to mitigating global climate change.

Published today in Nature, the findings are important because atmospheric CO2 has increased 40 percent since the dawn of the industrial age, contributing heavily to a warming planet.

Kyriakos Stylianou of the OSU College of Science and colleagues from the École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, the University of Ottawa, and the University of Granada in Spain used data mining as a springboard for diving into a key challenge: dealing with the water portion of smokestack gases that greatly complicates removing the CO2.

The data mining involved hundreds of thousands of nanomaterials known as metal organic frameworks, usually abbreviated to MOFs. MOFs hold the potential to intercept, through adsorption, CO2 molecules as the flue gases make their way out of the smokestack.

Flue gases can be dried, but that adds significant expense to the CO2 capture process.

Read more at Oregon State University