USF Scientists Help Develop Technology to Scrub Carbon Emissions; Col. Lawrence Wilkerson Tells Tampa Conference That Cuba Poses No Threat to US

03/25/13 Robert Lorei
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Good morning, welcome to radioactivity. Coming up- scientists at the University of South Florida have discovered a new material that can capture carbon dioxide- it might lead to a way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere….

And later we’ll hear what Colonel Lawrence Wilkinson said to The Alliance for a Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation conference this past weekend…..

From a USF press release earlier this month: "Chemists at the University of South Florida and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology have discovered a more efficient, less expensive and reusable material for carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and separation. The breakthrough could have implications for a new generation of clean-air technologies and offers new tools for confronting the world’s challenges in controlling carbon.

Publishing this month in the prestigious journal Nature, the international group of scientists has identified a previously underused material – known as SIFSIX-1-Cu - that offers a highly efficient mechanism for capturing CO₂.

The discovery represents more than an improvement over existing materials in terms of carbon capture, said USF Chemistry Professor Mike Zaworotko, noting that the material also is highly-effective at carbon capture even in the presence of water vapor, a standard that other materials have not been able to meet. This makes it a promising candidate for real-world applications. Water normally interferes with CO₂ capture, but the material developed in the USF-KAUST project resists it.

The breakthrough is several years in the making and began with an undergraduate research project conducted by USF student Stephen Burd under Zaworotko’s supervision. Now a graduate student in chemistry, Burd’s initial testing of the material and discovery of its high-selectivity for CO2 then grew to involve an international research group involving USF chemists Brian Space, Shengqian Ma, Mohamed Eddaoudi (who is also a faculty member at KAUST) and graduate collaborator Patrick Nugent."

We're joined in the studio now by Professor Zawarotko and Stephen Burd who is now a graduate student.

Next up- over the weekend The Alliance for a Responsible Cuba Policy held a conference over the weekend at the Cuban Club in Ybor City. Among the speakers was Col. Lawrence Wilkerson who is taking part in track two negotiations with people from Cuba on improving the relationship between the two countries. Here is Wilkerson's speech recorded by WMNF's Lenka Davis.

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