The construction material that reacts with CO2
In our town and cities, where vegetation is becoming increasingly scarce, how can we absorb carbon dioxide, claimed by scientists to be the number one cause of climate change? Imagine a material that could grow like trees by absorbing carbon dioxide!
This is exactly what the US team of chemists and engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Riverside have been working to develop.
This synthetic gel-like substance imitates the ability of plants to incorporate carbon dioxide from the air in order to produce tissue and achieve growth. The polymer absorbs the surrounding carbon dioxide using sunlight and can then grow and transform into a solid form.
And the substance has an added advantage: if it becomes cracked, the material automatically repairs itself using carbon dioxide in the ambient air. All manner of construction projects can be envisaged using this material! According to the lead researchers on the project, carbon dioxide “need not be purely a burden and a cost for society and for the planet as a whole”, but also represents “a great opportunity” in the field of building construction.
The researchers are already contemplating entire towns and cities where the buildings themselves would have the ability to clean pollution from the atmosphere… perhaps for our great grandchildren.