Dry Water could make a big splash commercially
An unusual substance known as “dry water,” which resembles powdered sugar, could provide a new way to absorb and store carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, scientists report.
The powder shows bright promise for a number of other uses, they said. It may, for instance, be a greener, more energyefficient way of jumpstarting the chemical reactions used to make hundreds of consumer products. Dry water also could provide a safer way to store and transport potentially harmful industrial materials.
Dry water was discovered in 1968 and got attention for its potential use in cosmetics. Scientists at the University of Hull, U.K. rediscovered it in 2006 in order to study its structure, and Professor Andrew Cooper’s group at the University of Liverpool has since expanded its range of potential applications.
One of the most recent involves using dry water as a storage material for gases, including carbon dioxide. In laboratoryscale research, Cooper and co-workers found that dry water absorbed over three times as much carbon dioxide as ordinary, uncombined water and silica in the same space of time. This ability to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide gas as a hydrate could make it useful in helping to reduce global warming, the scientists suggested.