A group of Korean researchers succeeded in making CO2 membrane using grapheme. This new generation of CO2 membrane can perform 1,000 times better than the currently existing membranes. If this technology can be completed to commercialization, it can dramatically lower the capturing costs for CO2, which is the main culprit for global warming.
Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced on October 3 that Professor Ho-bum Park and his colleagues at Hanyang University Department of Energy Engineering succeeded in making world’s first top notch CO2 membrane using graphene.
A membrane refers to material that exists between two different substances and acts as a selective barrier, filtering specific molecules and ions. It is a key material in the membrane process, a CO2 capturing process.
Recently, researchers have been looking into using grapheme oxide as membrane material but no technology has been developed to worldwide commercialization.
Professor Park’s team demonstrated that CO2 within emissions can be selectively filtered by adjusting the size of graphene and graphene oxide, or newly arranging materials that has thickness of an atom. Through this method, they succeeded in developing CO2 membrane material that is less than one hundredth the thickness of original material, improving performance by more than 1,000 times.
This membrane material easy to mass produce, overcoming what has been considered a limitation for existing membranes.
“Early commercialization of technology should be available within 2-3 years. The membrane market is forecasted to expand to 37 trillion won by 2016. If this technology can be commercialized and applied to various fields, several trillion won of revenue can be expected,” said personnel at Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
The research results were published on the online edition of Science.