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Ultraselective Polymer Membranes for Carbon Capture

Updated: Oct 24, 2022


Join Dr. Richard Spontak, Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University, at the WFI 2022 Annual Conference on December 7, 2022. He will be addressing two approaches that are used to fabricate organic membranes capable of CO2 ultraselectivity.


Ultraselective Polymer Membranes for Carbon Capture

Climate change, attributed largely to atmospheric CO2, continues to threaten the global environment and humanity. Numerous efforts have endeavoured to design membranes to remove CO2 from both industrial processes involving flue gas and natural gas. In this work, we explore two approaches that are used to fabricate organic membranes capable of CO2 ultraselectivity (i.e., CO2/N2 selectivity > 100). In one instance, the starting point is a sustainable bio nanoparticles, micro/nanofibrillated cellulose (MNFC), which acts as a natural barrier to gas permeation. Addition of a hydrophilic ionic liquid (IL) to coat and separate MNFC fibrils, followed by the subsequent use of humidified feed gas, activates a “gate-opening” mechanism at intermediate relative humidity levels so that CO2 selectively permeates through the hydrated IL. The selectivity levels measured here for such hybrid membranes exceed 300. In the second case considered, the starting point is a low-selectivity, ultrapermeable (CO2 permeability > 1000 Barrer) membrane that is surface-functionalized to introduce CO2-philic groups. By integrating two different transport mechanisms, CO2 concentrates on the CO2-philic membrane surface and then quickly permeates through the high-permeability substrate, yielding ultraselective and ultrapermeable membranes that not only far exceed the Robeson upper bound but also remain economically viable and process compatible.



2022 Product of the Year Nomination

The award is set to promote product development in the filtration and separation industry for a clean, healthy, and sustainable world. Find more about the 2022 Product of the Year Nomination HERE.



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