BEIJING - Using a metal-free catalyst, Chinese researchers have turned industrial waste gas into a solid and transparent material that can be developed into resin lens, Science and Technology Daily reported Monday.
Carbonyl sulfide is the most abundant sulfur-containing gas generated by coal power plants and oil refineries. It can corrode buildings, cause haze and acid rain, and damage human health by causing diseases.
The gas can also destroy the ozone layer.
Researchers at Zhejiang University placed the gas in an autoclave with epoxide, a common chemical material, and a metal-free catalyst. These chemicals reacted and formed a polymer, a macromolecular compound which is colorless, transparent, and innoxious.
Further study showed that the polymer performed as ideal resin lens, and could be manufactured into glasses or optical fibers.
Zhang Xinghong, lead researcher on the study, said the key to the research was the development of the metal-free catalyst, which made the catalysis more simple, inexpensive, and effective than using a catalyst containing heavy metals.
The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, may contribute to the waste gas recovery and utilization.