Ireland researchers develop new material to capture toxic illness-causing air pollutants

A team of researchers from the University of Limerick has developed a new material that can be used to cure the air pollutants by capturing them with the material. The development comes amid the soaring air pollution across the world. Toxic pollutants like Benzene would have been captured with this nee material, said the researchers. To the unversed, the chemicals like benzene are the root cause of numerous environmental and health problems. 

According to researchers, the pollutants can be captured from the air with the new material which crucially uses less energy than existing materials to do so. Researchers believe that the material, which looks alike sponges can revolutionize the search for fresh air and have a significant impact on the fight against climate change.

When the new material is exposed to air, it will engulf the atmospheric pollutants and toxic components present in the atmosphere. The researchers published the study in the Nature Materials journal. Researchers said, unlike the ordinary pollutants capturing material, this new one can capture air pollutants while using lesser energy. This is especially true for the minor components that comprise air, which include carbon dioxide and water. 

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As per the scientific evidence, the material can capture the toxic compound even if it is present at just 1 part in 100,000. The energy footprint is less as the material depends on physical bonding rather than chemical bonding to capture and release benzene. 

Decomposition of gaseous compounds is difficult, especially for small components, including air. However, the properties of the new material prove that separation is no longer a difficult task in benzene. It opens up new possibilities that are not used to develop new material and use porous materials to clean the air from toxic pollutants with very little energy.