Environmental Protection

A New Way to Capture Methane

Since methane is more harmful than CO2 and is very influential in climate change, researchers have found a new way to capture the greenhouse gas.

Methane is responsible for the second highest concentration of greenhouse gas that is released in to the atmosphere contribute to 30 percent of global warming. With the growing concern over the gas, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and UC Berkeley studied how effective methane capture could be by using liquid solvents and nanoporous zeolites.

"We used free-energy profiling and geometric analysis in these candidate zeolites to understand how the distribution and connectivity of pore structures and binding sites can lead to enhanced sorption of methane while being competitive with CO2 sorption at the same time," said Amitesh Maiti, one of the researchers from LLNL.

During their studies, it was discovered that the liquid solvents were not very effective, but the zeolites were proved to be sufficient at methane capture. The zeolites were capable of methane sorption, which could become a very promising way to capture the gas. ZON and FER, other zeolites used in the study, were able to dilute methane streams into more moderate concentrations that could be used to ventilate air in coal mines.

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