A joint research team, including the research team of Professor Wu-yeol Kim of the Sookmyung Women’s University’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, developed a technology that converts substances that cause fine dust into eco-friendly substances.
Professor Kim's research team reported that together with the research team of Professor Chang-hyuk Choi of GIST and Professor Hyungjun Kim of KAIST, they developed a technology to convert nitrogen monoxide (NO), the main cause of fine dust, into a high value-added compound, hydroxylamine.
Hydroxylamine (NH2OH) is the main raw material for caprolactam, a raw material for nylon. Caprolactam exists as a liquid at room temperature and is considered an effective hydrogen storage material in the green hydrogen society due to its high reactivity to ammonia.
The joint research team succeeded in producing hydroxylamine, an eco-friendly substance, very selectively in the actual reaction process by combining the use of iron ion catalysts stabilized at the atomic level and the technology designed based on basic computational and spectroscopy research.
Nitrogen, an abundant element that makes up about 78% of the Earth's atmosphere, plays an important role in the survival of ecosystems including humans. However, the enormous amount of nitrogen oxides generated in the advanced industrial society has been pointed out as a fundamental cause of not only environmental pollution such as acid rain, but also fine dust that has recently emerged as a serious social problem.
The joint research team revealed that through the results of this research, it is possible to gain triple benefits such as reducing nitrogen oxides, an important cause of fine dust, securing raw materials for fiber production, as well as storing of green hydrogen. It is expected that in the future, it will be possible to establish an eco-friendly system that converts environmental pollutants such as exhaust gases into useful substances in our lives.
Professor Kim said, "Based on the results of this study, we succeeded in producing stable hydroxylamine from nitrogen monoxide, which is the cause of fine dust, and confirmed the possibility of practical application of the technology."
The research of the joint researchers was carried out with the support of the Creative Materials Discovery project of the National Research Foundation of Korea and the project of linking newly rising and leading researches. The research results were published online on the 25th in Nature Communications, a world-renowned academic journal.
Photo caption: Professor Wu-yeol Kim (Sookmyung Women's University), Professor Chang-hyuk Choi (GIST), Professor Hyungjun Kim (KAIST), Ph.D. Student Dong-hyeon Kim (GIST), Professor Stefan Ringe (DGIST) (from left)