Porous 'Liquid' Invented For The First Time

First Posted: Nov 11, 2015 03:33 PM EST

A team of scientists have created a porous liquid, which paves the way for new technologies, such as carbon capture, according to a study at Queen's University Belfast in the UK. The researchers' new liquid can dissolve large amounts of gas, as they are absorbed by the "holes" in the liquid.

"Materials which contain permanent holes, or pores, are technologically important. However, until recently, these porous materials have been solids," Professor Stuart James from Queen's School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, said in a news release"What we have done is to design a special liquid from the 'bottom-up,' we designed the shapes of the molecules which make up the liquid so that the liquid could not fill up all the space."

This new study could generate future developments in green and competent chemical processes, such as carbon capturing, according to the researchers. Fossil-fuel power plants could use this mechanism to trap carbon dioxide instead of releasing it into the atmosphere.

"A few more years' research will be needed, but if we can find applications for these porous liquids they could result in new or improved chemical processes," James said.

"We have managed to demonstrate a very new principle that by creating holes in liquids we can dramatically increase the amount of gas they can dissolve. These remarkable properties suggest interesting applications in the long term."

The findings of this study were published in the journal Nature.

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