“Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations. Just one spoon of the substance is enough to absorb all the oxygen in a room. The stored oxygen can be released again when and where it is needed.
We do fine with the 21 per cent oxygen in the air around us. But sometimes we need oxygen in higher concentrations; for example lung patients must carry heavy oxygen tanks, cars using fuel cells need a regulated oxygen supply. Perhaps one day in the future even sunlight-driven “reversible” fuel cells will be made. With these we will have to separate oxygen from hydrogen in order to recombine them in order to get energy.
Now Professor Christine McKenzie and postdoc Jonas Sundberg, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized a material that absorb oxygen in large quantities and store it.
“In the lab, we saw how this material took up oxygen from the air around us”, says Christine McKenzie. The new material is crystalline, and using x-ray diffraction the researchers have studied the arrangement of atoms inside the material when it was filled with oxygen, and when it was emptied of oxygen.”