Reusable CO2 Capture Materials

Reusable CO2 Capture Materials

Author: Kate Lawrence

Worldwide climate change is a significant issue that is associated with CO2 emissions. In an attempt to decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, many efforts are focusing on the development of different methods to capture the unwanted CO2.

Yi-Feng Lin, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chungli, Taiwan, and Te-Yu Wei, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, and their teams have developed highly porous membrane materials to be used for capturing CO2 at industrial power plants. These materials are constructed from mesoporous SiO2 aerogel membranes that are coated onto macroporous Al2O3 membranes. The materials are then modified with fluorocarbon functional groups to create highly hydrophobic aerogel membranes.

The new material was tested in membrane contactors and the hydrophobic nature of the surface prevented wetting by amine absorbents, but allowed CO2 to be absorbed. Therefore, it was possible for these modified aerogel membranes to be used for extended periods of continuous CO2 absorption. A threefold absorption flux increase was also observed with the modified material compared to the uncoated membranes.

These membranes represent a promising technology for large-scale CO2 absorption and could be used during the post-combustion processes in power plants.

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