US researchers have recently developed a composite material that "grows" after reacting with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and is expected to be used as a building material or repair material and protective coating in the future.

Recent research published in the American "Advanced Materials" magazine shows that this gel material can grow like a plant after absorbing carbon dioxide, so it can be used to make lightweight boards and transported to construction sites. It will become exposed to air and sunlight. Hardened, thereby saving energy and transportation costs, while consuming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The co-author of the paper, Michael Strano, a professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that carbon-fixing materials outside the biological world did not exist before, and the new materials only need sunlight to convert carbon dioxide in the air into Solid state.

The research team used chlorophyll extracted from the leaves of spinach. Chlorophyll can catalyze the conversion of carbon dioxide to glucose. Usually chlorophyll can only play a role within a few hours outside the plant. .

Studies have shown that, in addition to chlorophyll, this composite material also contains a gel matrix composed of polymers and glucose oxidase. Under their combined action, the material will become hard after carbon absorption. Although it is not enough for building materials at present, it can be Used as caulking or protective material.

Strano said that this material is also expected to be developed as a self-healing material. After the object is cracked or scratched, the damaged area can be filled and repaired without external force.

It is reported that the research team has found a method for mass production of this material, and is currently working on optimizing the performance of this material, which is expected to be commercialized in the near future. (Reporter Zhou Zhou)

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