New polyamine CO2 adsorbent may be step forward for CCS technology – and CDR geoengineering

Policy makers find CCS too expensive, climate activists call it an excuse for coal and none of us want it applied in our own backyards. But fortunately science also has a way of silently progressing, as we will be needing carbon capture technology anyway.

CO2 adsorption from air - CDR geoengineering?
Yesterday the American Chemical Society issued a press release in which it referred to a publication in its own journal – JACS – from November 11 2011, by a research group from Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and Department of Chemistry at the University of Southern California.

These researchers think with their ‘polyamine-based regenerable solid adsorbent’ they have developed a better CO2-binding material to capture the carbon gas from concentrated smoke (as would be the case with conventional CCS) – and perhaps, as the researchers state the adsorbent works at very low concentrations, also from the air – which could make it suited for high-tech [and therefore probably very cost-ineffective] ways of CDR geoengineering, like David Keith’s ‘carbon scrubbers.’

Let’s hope they’re right. CCS health concerns [from leaks] are exaggerated and not intrinsic to the technique. And as for instance the IEA 450 Scenario shows there is no way we can get even close to achieving agreed international climate targets without large-scale implementation.

Last July another research group reported on a CO2 adsorbent breakthrough. They managed to convince the editors of a journal with a somewhat higher general impact factor that they had hit on something significant. [But don’t tell us you had never heard of the Journal of the American Chemical Society – we’d be disappointed.]

© Rolf Schuttenhelm |

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