Researchers develop material that separates CO2 from industrial waste gases

27 October 2020 | Muriel Cozier

‘Our research team has succeeded in designing a material that fulfils two tasks as the same time…’

Chemists at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, have developed an inorganic-organic hybrid material, based on clay minerals, that can specifically separate CO2 from industrial waste gases, natural gas, or biogas. The separation process is said to be energy efficient and cost effective. The work has been published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science.

The clay minerals in the material are comprised of hundreds of individual glass platelets, each one a nanometre thick and arranged precisely one above the other. Organic molecules act as spacers between the platelets, their shape and chemical properties have been selected so that the spaces created are optimally tailored to accumulate CO2. This means that methane, nitrogen and other exhaust gas molecules must remain outside the matrix due to their size. The material is such that the accumulated CO2 can then be released without an excessive amount of energy being expended.

‘Our research team has succeeded in designing a material that fulfils two tasks as the same time. On the one hand, the physical interactions with CO2 are strong enough to free and retain this greenhouse gas from a gas mixture. On the other hand, however, they are weak enough to allow release of CO2 from the material with only a small amount of energy,’ said Martin Rieβ, first author of the paper and doctoral researcher at the Inorganic Chemistry Research Group at the University of Bayreuth.

On the 29th October 2020, SCI will be hosting the second of three events entitled Decarbonisation and the Chemistry of CO2. At this free webinar, attendees will hear from industry and academic researchers who are exploring future CO2 capture, transport and storage techniques and scenarios, new and emerging capture and conditioning technologies and the variety of opportunities being explored to utilise captured CO2. The third event will take place on 5th November 2020.

More details and to register for these events - Decarbonisation and the Chemistry of CO2


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