Nanotech Membranes to Improve CO2 Capture?

This entry was posted by Thursday, 11 February, 2010
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A new type of membrane has been internationally patented by researchers at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. The membrane is made from a plastic material that has been structured by means of nanotechnology. It catches CO2 while other waste gases pass freely.

According to the scientists, the technology is effective, inexpensive and eco-friendly, and can be used for practically all types of CO2 removal from other gases. Its effectiveness increases proportionally to the concentration of CO2 in the gas.

This method, known as facilitated transport, is comparable to the way human lungs get rid of CO2 when we breathe: it is both a complex and an effective mechanism.

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One Response to “Nanotech Membranes to Improve CO2 Capture?”

  1. Duncan

    This method, called facilitated transport, is comparable to the way human lungs get rid of CO2 when we breathe: it is both a complex and an effective mechanism.
    “The novelty is that instead of using a filter that separates directly between CO2 and other molecules, we use a so-called agent. It is a fixed carrier in the membrane that helps to convert the gas we want to remove,” says NTNU professor May-Britt Hägg. She is head of the research group Memfo that works on the new membrane technology.
    The agent helps so that the CO2 molecules in combination with moisture form the chemical bicarbonate, which is then quickly transported through the membrane. In this manner, the CO2 is released while the other gases are retained by the membrane.
    Various materials are used to make membranes, including plastic, carbon and/or ceramics.
    Membrane separation of gases is a highly complex process. The materials must be tailored in an advanced way to be adapted to separate specific gases. They must be long-lasting and stable.


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