Carbon dioxide gas capture, or emission reduction not necessary to reduce global warming if its diffusion coefficient can be reduced instead.
Image credit: Image by catazul from Pixabay
Shireesh Apte Aug 13, 2023
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CO2 is accepted as the prominent greenhouse gas. Research is ongoing to either reduce CO2 emissions, recapture emitted CO2 or harness alternative sources of energy that do not produce CO2. This idea lets CO2 be emitted - business as usual burning fossil fuels - but reduces its potential to absorb and re-radiate Infra-red radiation back to earth. It does this without having to reduce CO2 emissions or without reducing the use of fossil fuels.
How it works
CO2 absorbs IR radiation emanting from the earth, and re-radiates (part of it) back to the earth's surface due to the particular vibrational modes of its atoms. This absorption and re-radiation must depend on its diffusion coefficient in the atmosphere. If the diffusion coefficient (approximately imagined as the speed of the molecule) is reduced by complexing it with another heavier gas, the absorption and re-radiation of IR is expected to decrease by orders-of-magnitude. Furthermore, the complexing gas molecule (or molecules in the case of host clusters) may interfere with the vibrational modes of the attached/complexed CO2 such that its IR absorption and (therefore) re-radiation capacity is decreased.
If such a gas can be found, such that the binding or van-der-Waals forces between CO2 and the gas are strong enough, smokestacks, exhaust pipes etc. can just be configured to release measured stoichiometric amounts of this gas such that CO2 escapes (not as individual molecules), but rather, as a complex with this gas.
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