My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: University of Southern Denmark Oxygen-phillic Cobalt compound - Organo-Crystalline Cobalt means Conquest of Outer Space and Ocean is Possible

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

University of Southern Denmark Oxygen-phillic Cobalt compound - Organo-Crystalline Cobalt means Conquest of Outer Space and Ocean is Possible

“Cobalt gives the new material precisely the molecular and electronic structure that enables it to absorb oxygen from its surroundings. This mechanism is well known from all breathing
creatures on earth: Humans and many other species use iron, while other animals, like crabs and spiders, use copper. Small amounts of metals are essential for the absorption of oxygen, so actually it is not entirely surprising to see this effect in our new material”

Professor Christine McKenzie from the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Southern Denmark

Crystals have some amazing properties, such as being used to develop a long-term Data Storage format as explained in my blog article entitled “University of Southampton and Eindhoven's University write and read Data to Quartz Crystal - Eternal Storage borrowed from Superman Man of Steel”.

However, some Crystals can store more than just Data.

Researchers from the  University of Southern Denmark have developed a Crystal based on Cobalt (Co) that can store Oxygen (O2) in very high concentrations and release it when needed as reported in the article “One spoonful of this stuff could turn you into Aquaman”, published October 3, 2014 by Michael Franco, CNET News.



The research was done by Professor Christine McKenzie along with Post Doctoral Student Jonas Sundberg in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of
Southern Denmark. Together they'd synthesized an organo-metallic Cobalt (Co) compound that absorbs Oxygen (O2) so well that 10 Liters of it can remove all the oxygen in a room as reported in the article “New material steals oxygen from air”, published September 30, 2014, ScienceDaily.

She’s also quite quotable, offering little in the way of the composition of the Cobalt (Co) compound, which in a way reminds me of the silica gel packs that are often placed inside of boxes to absorb moisture.

So what are the properties of this wondrous compound that possibly can suffocate you if enough of it is in an enclosed room with you?

University of Southern Denmark Oxygen-phillic Organo-Cobalt compound - Apply Energy to extract Oxygen

The Crystalline material is actually an organic molecular complex with Cobalt (Co) as a permanent part of it molecular structure.  It can store Oxygen (O2) within its crystalline structure at concentration one hundred and sixty (160) time the concentration of air in the atmosphere, which is 21% Oxygen (O2).

The compound binds reversibly with Oxygen (O2), almost like Hemoglobin in mammalian blood to quote Professor Christine McKenzie: “An important aspect of this new material is that it does not react irreversibly with oxygen ­­ even though it absorbs oxygen in a so­called selective chemisorptive process. The material is both a sensor, and a container for oxygen ­­ we can use it to bind, store and transport oxygen ­­ like a solid artificial hemoglobin”.

To release the oxygen requires the Crystals being placed in a low pressure environment or the application of gentle heat, with the research team looking into modifying the Crystal releasing
Oxygen (O2) when exposed to certain spectrum of light, to quote Professor Christine McKenzie: “We see release of oxygen when we heat up the material, and we have also seen it when we apply vacuum. We are now wondering if light can also be used as a trigger for the material to release oxygen ­­ this has prospects in the growing field of artificial photosynthesis”.

Possibly because of the presence of the Cobalt (Co), which is a Transition Element in the Periodic Table between Iron (Fe), found in hemoglobin in mammalian blood and Nickel (Ni), the rate of absorption of Oxygen (O2) from a room depends on the Oxygen (O2) content, pressure, temperature and humidity level of the room to quote Professor Christine McKenzie: “Cobalt gives the new material precisely the molecular and electronic structure that enables it to absorb oxygen from its surroundings. This mechanism is well known from all breathing creatures on earth: Humans and many other species use iron, while other animals, like crabs and spiders, use copper. Small amounts of metals are essential for the absorption of oxygen, so actually it is not entirely surprising to see this effect in our new material”.

Applications of Organo-Crystalline Cobalt - Conquest of Outer Space and Under the Sea is Possible

The team can also change the composition of the compound so that it absorbs oxygen at different rates, making it suitable for specialized applications. Professor Christine McKenzie hints at a
possible use, that being a replacement for bulk Scuba Diver's Oxygen (O2) tanks, as it can hold three (3) times as much oxygen, quote: “When the material is saturated with oxygen, it can be compared to an oxygen tank containing pure oxygen under pressure ­­ the difference is that this material can hold three times as much oxygen”.

According to Professor Christine McKenzie, it can even be the basis of a rebreather system to absorb oxygen from the surrounding water or air, making even the need to carry Oxygen (O2) in a deep sea submersible somewhat unnecessary, quote: “This could be valuable for lung patients who today must carry heavy oxygen tanks with them. But also divers may one day be able to leave the oxygen tanks at home and instead get oxygen from this material as it "filters" and concentrates oxygen from surrounding air or water. A few grains contain enough oxygen for one breath, and as the material can absorb oxygen from the water around the diver and supply the diver with it, the diver will not need to bring more than these few grains”.

One thing is for sure, this is yet another way of extracting Oxygen (O2) from the atmosphere aside from the decomposition of Oxygen (O2) using UV Laser Vacuum pyrolysis as demonstrated by the University of California as explained in my blog article entitled “University of California Team decompose Carbon Dioxide to Oxygen using a UV Laser - How Gas Pyrolysis can create lighter Spacesuits and Life on other Planets”. 

Combined the synthesis of these oxygen-absorbing Cobalt (Co) salts from the University of Southern Denmark with the Vacuum pyrolysis of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to get Oxygen (O2), the conquest of Outer space and under the sea is now realistically possible. 





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