Capturing Xenon; an exploration of the chemistry required to capture Xenon gas

Capturing Xenon; an exploration of the chemistry required to capture Xenon gas

 

CIA: Dr Steven McGuigan

Xenon has been in use as an anaesthetic gas for more than 70 years and has several benefits compared to conventional inhalation anaesthetic agents, such as greater haemodynamic stability and faster recovery. 

Project summary

Xenon has been in use as an anaesthetic gas for more than 70 years and has several benefits compared to conventional inhalation anaesthetic agents, such as greater haemodynamic stability and faster recovery. As a monoatomic element, xenon does not act as a greenhouse gas in contrast to the commonly utilised inhalational agents. There is growing pre-clinical and clinical evidence that xenon is neuroprotective in a variety of settings, including hypoxic ischaemic brain injury and cardiac surgery. However, the scarcity and cost of xenon has limited its widespread adoption.
 
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a relatively new type of adsorbent material that commonly possess outstandingly high surface areas, allowing the capture of large quantities of gaseous species. These crystalline materials possess well-defined pores that may be tailored for specific guests and purposes. As a consequence, there has been considerable interest from industry in regard to the utilisation of these highly porous materials.
Our research team has recently demonstrated the ability of these materials to efficiently capture the conventional anaesthetic sevoflurane from a scavenged gas mixture. The aim of this proposed study is to develop MOFs specifically designed to capture xenon from a scavenged gas mixture.
 
Building upon promising MOF systems developed at the University of Melbourne, the intention is to optimise materials for the purpose of xenon capture and recovery under conditions that would make their use economically viable and environmentally sustainable. In addition, investigations will be extended to other MOF adsorbent materials in order to ensure that the best candidates for xenon adsorption have been identified. X-ray diffraction, using lab-based resources in addition to the facilities of the Australian Synchrotron, will be employed to determine the molecular structures of the adsorbent materials. This work will aid in design modification of the adsorbent material.
 
The use of modern, tailored MOFs as adsorbents represents a relatively straightforward solution to a challenging problem. With MOFs there is clearly potential for the development of a system that would make xenon anaesthesia, with its associated environmental and medical advantages, a viable option in mainstream medicine.
 

Chief investigators

Dr Steven McGuigan, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Associate Professor Forbes McGain, Western Health, Melbourne, Professor Brendan Abrahams, The University of Melbourne, Associate Professor Lisbeth Evered, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, USA,  Dr Keith White, La Trobe University, Victoria, Dr Lauren Macreadie, University of Sydney, NSW.
 

Funding

The project was awarded $A82,456 (including scholarship) through the ANZCA research grants program for 2022.   

Last updated 15:19 24.03.2022