• Hithesh Jain

University of Bayreuth designs material to separate CO2 from Waste Gases

Anupama Ratheesh

25th October 2020

Germany- Scientists at the University of Bayreuth have designed a novel material that could contribute to climate protection and make industrial production sustainable. This material separates carbon dioxide (CO2) from biogas, natural gas, and industrial production, making recycling easier.

The European Commission presented 'The Green Deal' in 2019, calling for greenhouse gas emissions within the European Union to dip to zero by 2050. This goal requires a method to separate and retain carbon dioxide from other gas mixtures without them chemically binding to the CO2. In the Bayreuth laboratories, a spacious storage tank was designed in such a way to only separate the carbon dioxide for the most varied gas mixtures. The novel creation allows the new material to be filled with and emptied of CO2 in an energy-efficient way.

The separation method is economical and energy-efficient. In the Cell Reports Physical Science journal, the team has described the material's structure and function. This material is an inorganic-organic hybrid. The chemical basis is clay minerals, including numerous separate glass platelets. Each of them is just one nanometer thick and also organized specifically one above the other. There are organic particles between the separate glass plates that function as spacers. Their structure and chemical properties are chosen to ensure that the pore spaces developed are efficiently tailored to store carbon dioxide. Only CO2 can permeate into the material's pore system and retain.

The researchers have used the molecular sieve effect to increase the material's selectivity for CO2. Scientists are currently developing a system based on clay minerals to allow the continuous, selective, and energy-efficient separation of CO2 from different gas mixtures.

"The research team has succeeded in designing such a material that fulfills two simultaneously. On the one hand, the physical interactions with carbon dioxide are strong enough to retain and free this greenhouse gas from a normal gas mixture. On the other hand, they are also weak enough to allow the release of CO2 from the material using only a small amount of energy," says Martin Riess M.Sc.— doctoral researcher at The Inorganic Chemistry research group and first author of the new publication at the University of Bayreuth.

(Sources- Science Daily)

Edited by- Sravanthi Neralla

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