Very recently Chemical Sciences published results of the discovery of a new cobalt compound that can absorb oxygen at presumably a higher capacity than what has been achievable before. The paper is here. I don't have access to the full publication, and since I'm not a chemist I don't really follow the abstract too well. But from the popular news there are claims that 10 liters of the compound can absorb "a whole room of oxygen". Not very quantitative.

So my main question - is this really a breakthrough in terms of absorption capacity? And to what degree?

Also - how can the absorption/release of oxygen be controlled?

Edit: I found a link to the full article here.

  • $\begingroup$ They compare it to mioglobine and say it has good reversibility. Seems it's better than complexes synthetised earlier. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jun 24, 2015 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron to reverse the absorption, do you have to heat the compound? $\endgroup$
    – docscience
    Jun 24, 2015 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, they were heating and cooling. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Jun 24, 2015 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Mithoron There is allot of hype in the news that this will be a technology breakthrough - perhaps competing with SCUBA compressed gas cylinders. But if you have to supply heat to recover the O2 then you need a battery or fuel - which adds additional volume and weight. Not to mention diving depth would be limited to less than 33 ft of seawater - to prevent oxygen toxicity. $\endgroup$
    – docscience
    Jun 24, 2015 at 17:13


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