via Newcastle University
A new class of self-forming membrane to separate carbon dioxide from a mixture of gases has been developed by Newcastle University researchers.
Operating like a coffee filter, it lets harmless gases, such as nitrogen, exit into the atmosphere and then the carbon dioxide can be processed.
The team believe that the system may be applicable for use in carbon dioxide separation processes, either to protect the environment or in reaction engineering.
By growing the expensive part of the membrane – made from silver – during membrane operation, they dramatically reduced the demand for silver and the cost of the membrane.
The work is published in Energy and Environmental Science and Dr Greg Mutch, NUAcT Fellow from the School of Engineering, Newcastle University, UK explains, “We didn’t build the entire membrane from silver, instead we added a small amount of silver and grew it within the membrane adding the functionality we desired.
“Most importantly, the performance of the membrane is at the level required to be competitive with existing carbon capture processes – in fact, it would likely reduce the size of the equipment required significantly and potentially lower operating costs.”
What is carbon capture and why is it needed?
Carbon dioxide emissions are the main driver of climate change. Currently, our climate is approximately 1 °C warmer than pre-industrial times. We have already emitted enough carbon dioxide to warm the planet beyond 1.5 °C (there is a lag between emissions and warming), and we have international agreements in place to ensure that we do not pass 2 °C.
Warming beyond 2 °C will have disastrous consequences, including impacts on human health, food availability, large-scale migration and our environment. We urgently need new materials and processes that reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we emit to the atmosphere – these technologies are referred to as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Although we are making big efforts with renewable energy and electric vehicles, the world is still predominantly powered by fossil fuels and we are very unlikely to be able to reduce that contribution in time to limit warming to less than 2 °C.
In addition, large modelling exercises such as by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have repeatedly shown that the most cost-effective way to slow global warming always involves a significant amount of CCS (in the mix with e.g. renewable energy technologies).
The self-forming membrane
In a method never tried before and described in the research paper, aluminium oxide supports in pellet and tubular form were used to grow the silver membrane. Silver was added to the membrane, and the conditions experienced during operation forced the silver to grow within the membrane, bestowing higher performance.
Using X-ray micro-computed tomography, the team were able to look inside the membrane and confirm that the permeation of CO2 and O2 stimulated self-assembly of silver dendrites.
Importantly, the performance of the membrane was shown through permeation measurements to be at the level required to be competitive with existing carbon capture processes. The permeability of the membrane was one order of magnitude higher than that required, and the flux of CO2 was the highest reported for this class of membrane.
Dr Mutch added: “These savings are important – the cost of carbon capture is one of the key factors limiting uptake of the technology. There is a common metric for membrane performance – the “upper bound”. As our membrane relies on a unique transport mechanism, we avoid the limitations of most membrane materials and go far beyond the upper bound!
“We hope that this study inspires new ways to form membranes, that lower costs, as well as drives interest in this new class of membrane for future application to protect our environment.”
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Carbon dioxide separation
- Polyimide membranes for the purification of natural gason June 23, 2020 at 9:36 am
Natural gas that contains larger amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2) is termed sour gas. Before it can enter a pipeline, it must be 'sweetened' by removal of its acidic ...
- Perth’s Red Hill Auditorium set to be Australia’s first ‘carbon negative’ venueon June 21, 2020 at 10:22 pm
Iconic Perth music venue Red Hill Auditorium has announced today they plan on becoming Australia's first carbon negative music venue.
- Refinery hydrogen from petcoke gasificationon June 11, 2020 at 6:00 am
Stephen B. Harrison, Principal, Germany at Nexant Energy & Chemicals Advisory, explains why gasification is increasingly being used on refineries to process petcoke, a heavy residue from coking units.
- Pa. Panel Pushes Bill Requiring OK Of Carbon Tax Agreementon June 9, 2020 at 5:26 pm
"No matter where you fall, the General Assembly should stand up for its constitutional duty and for the separation of powers ... proposal to control carbon dioxide emissions or participate ...
- Pa. Panel Pushes Bill Requiring OK Of Carbon Tax Agreementon June 9, 2020 at 5:04 pm
A Pennsylvania House committee voted Tuesday to require that the General Assembly has to approve the governor's executive order to enter the state into a regional greenhouse agreement that could ...
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Carbon dioxide separation
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Amazon puts $2B toward fighting climate change as it reports its own growing carbon footprinton June 23, 2020 at 12:41 pm
Eat your heart out, Microsoft, Amazon is putting in twice the dollars to fight climate change — even as it reported ballooning carbon emissions for 2019.
- Ashurst Wins Multi-Million Carbon Capture Mandateon June 23, 2020 at 2:04 am
Ashurst will advise the department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) which has oversight on the programme. The contract itself is worth £4.6 million over a period of two years, ...
- Accounting Restrictions Could Hurt Uptake Of Carbon Crediton June 22, 2020 at 3:22 pm
Investors' inability to use an accounting method that would insulate them from pretax cash flow losses is contributing to some tax equity investors' disengagement from the market for carbon capture ...
- Net-zero carbon emissions target a 'moon shot,' says natural resources ministeron June 22, 2020 at 1:47 pm
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan says achieving the Trudeau government's target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is a "moon shot" — but it's not a case of randomly throwing out ideas.
- Globe Climate: The dreams and the costs of carbon capture and storageon June 22, 2020 at 10:12 am
Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada. Also, welcome to the first official days of summer. If the pandemic has gotten in ...