16 May 2024

On the hunt for carbon dioxide-absorbing materials

On the hunt for carbon dioxide-absorbing materials

Can some of the materials in our daily lives be altered in the laboratory to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thus help combat climate change? Yes! A research group from CICECO, Universidade de Aveiro (UAveiro) is working on modifying porous materials to understand the mechanisms for capturing and converting carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

Winner of the UAveiro Researcher Award the Specko group at CICECO - Aveiro Institute of Materials has been exploring porous materials based on silica or biopolymers, such as cellulose and chitin/chitosan, from waste in the wood and fishing industries, which are capable of capturing carbon dioxide.

"This award makes us very proud of the work we have done so far and even more motivated to continue contributing with high quality scientific work in the areas of surface chemistry and gas adsorbent materials. We've already received a lot from UAveiro and we're more than grateful to be able to give something back based on the quality of the science we do at this institution," says the team led by researcher Luís Mafra.

The applied approach is multidisciplinary, integrating the intelligent development of materials, the use of spectroscopic techniques (particularly nuclear magnetic resonance), computational modeling and gas adsorption measurements, which allows for a detailed characterization of the adsorption processes of that gas, at the atomic level. The knowledge generated promotes the development of new porous materials with improved properties for more efficient removal of this gas and potential industrial application.

Coordinated by Luís Mafra, the group is made up of Mariana Sardo, Ildefonso Marin-Montesinos, Mirtha Lourenço and Ricardo Vieira, a multidisciplinary team of researchers with experience in Chemistry, Materials Engineering, NMR Spectroscopy and Physics. In addition to these researchers, the group currently includes a visiting researcher and 17 students (6 Doctorates, 3 Masters, 6 undergraduate and 2 ERASMUS+ internships).

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