NASA, Purdue study offers recipe for global warming-free industrial materials

May 5, 2010

Let a bunch of fluorine atoms get together in the molecules of a chemical compound and they’re like a heavy metal band at a chamber music festival. They tend to dominate the proceedings and not always for the better. That’s particularly true where the global warming potential of the chemicals is concerned, says a new study by NASA and Purdue University researchers.

The study offers at least a partial recipe industrial chemists could use in developing alternatives with less global warming potential than materials commonly used today. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The results are based on atomic-scale quantum chemistry calculations done on supercomputers from NASA and ITaP.

“What we’re hoping is that these additional requirements for minimizing global warming will be used by industry as design constraints for making materials that have, perhaps, the most green chemistry,” says Joseph Francisco, a Purdue chemistry and earth and atmospheric sciences professor.

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Writer: Greg Kline, science and technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-494-8167, gkline@purdue.edu

Sources: Joseph Francisco, 765-494-7851, francisc@purdue.edu

Timothy Lee, 650-604-5208, Timothy.J.Lee@nasa.gov

Originally posted: May 5, 2010