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Cost-Effective Chalcogenide Polymers for Gas Separation and Heavy Metal Removal

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Inorganic microporous materials are extensively used in many industrial applications. Northwestern University researchers have developed highly porous materials that can be used for a variety of environmental remediation purposes. Dr. Kanatzidis and colleagues synthesized a novel material that is capable of binding silver ions in aqueous solution and reducing it to silver nanoparticles without any additional reagents. Once loaded with silver nanoparticles this material can be used for capture of iodine vapors as well as for production of antimicrobials or optics components. Furthermore the researchers were able to develop a method for synthesizing a high-surface area aerogel that can be used to separate gases from mixtures. This material exhibits selectivity towards carbon dioxide and ethane but can also be used for removal of heavy and precious metals from the environment. These cost-effective materials hold promise for many other applications due to their high potential for functionalization. Applications: 1) Gas absorption/storage 2) Chemical remediation and separation 3) Precious metal removal 4) Sensors 5) Catalysis


1) Inexpensive 2) High surface area 3) High CO2/C2H6 selectivity 4) Broad range of pore sizes 5) Many possibilities for functionalization

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