Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Hollow Fibers: ARPA-E Funding Supports Development of Membranes and Sorbents for Carbon Dioxide Removal from Flue Gases

Georgia Tech researcher David Sholl is leading a project to develop hollow-fiber membranes that use metal-organic framework materials to remove carbon dioxide from flue gases. Credit: Georgia Research Alliance
Georgia Tech researcher David Sholl is leading a project to develop hollow-fiber membranes that use metal-organic framework materials to remove carbon dioxide from flue gases. Credit: Georgia Research Alliance

Abstract:
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are using funding from the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy - also known as ARPA-E - to pursue two different, but related, approaches for removing carbon dioxide from the flue gases of coal-burning power plants.

By John Toon

Hollow Fibers: ARPA-E Funding Supports Development of Membranes and Sorbents for Carbon Dioxide Removal from Flue Gases

Atlanta, GA | Posted on August 18th, 2010

Power plants produce approximately one-third of all carbon dioxide emitted in the United States each year. The researchers will attempt to use the unique high-density properties of hollow fibers to develop cost-effective techniques for removing large volumes of the greenhouse gas from the emissions.

In one project, awarded directly to Georgia Tech, researchers are developing hollow-fiber composite membranes that will use nanoporous metal-organic framework materials to separate carbon dioxide from the flue gases. In the other project, Georgia Tech researchers are assisting colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in developing hollow-fiber sorbents that will soak up carbon dioxide like a sponge - then release it when heated.

Both will take advantage of the very high surface-to-volume properties of hollow fibers spun from polymers. For the membrane project, researchers envision providing a million square meters of membrane area within a moderately-sized building using the compact footprint allowed by the fibers.

"The challenge with this is to have a technology that not only physically works, but that can be built on a large scale and operated inexpensively," said David Sholl, who leads the membrane project as a professor in the Georgia Tech School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. "If we are successful, this technology could have a very significant impact on trying to reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of coal."

Capturing carbon dioxide emissions at power plants makes sense because the emissions are concentrated there, Sholl says. But current technology, which involves bubbling stack gases through an aqueous solution and then removing the carbon dioxide, would consume at least a third of the energy produced by each power plant.

Membranes could theoretically separate the carbon dioxide from other gases with less energy input. But no existing membrane materials can do the job while being robust enough to operate in the hostile flue-gas environment - and inexpensive enough for the large areas needed.

"The volume is truly incredible any way you look at it - how much coal is burned or how much gas is produced per second," said Sholl, who is a Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholar in energy sustainability. "With a really good membrane, we would need something like a million square meters of area per power plant. That amount sounds impossible, but it's something already being done in water desalination facilities."

Hollow fibers no thicker than a hair are the key to providing sufficient membrane surface area, said William Koros, who is working on both projects as a professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

"Depending on the details of the design, the contact area that can be packaged into a cubic meter of membrane or sorbent volume can be hundreds or thousands of times higher than could be achieved through competitive approaches," said Koros, who is a Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholar in membrane science and technology. "This would allow us to fit the new carbon capture materials into already-cramped power plants."

Sholl and his colleagues are using computational techniques to screen the nearly 5,000 compounds that could be used in the metal-organic framework materials, which are sub-micron-scale crystals that will be added to the fibers to separate the carbon dioxide from other gases. Using the computational techniques, they hope to cut the number of candidate materials to as few as 50 that would be synthesized and tested.

"We are trying to connect the computational screening and prediction to a material that can actually be used in a membrane," said Carson Meredith, also a professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. "We will study these compounds in a rapid way, measuring just the key properties of interest."

Those properties include permeance - the ability to allow carbon dioxide through - and selectivity, which will allow it to exclude other gases. That screening should cut the number of candidates to a handful that would actually be used to make membranes for more detailed testing, Sholl said.

At the end of the two-year grant period, the researchers expect to have produced and tested hollow-fiber membranes at the laboratory scale. They would then partner with a manufacturer to produce bundles of the fibers for a pilot-scale test.

Power plant flue gases contain nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxides, as well as moisture, which can combine to cause corrosion. Moisture alone can also cause problems for some membranes. In addition, flue gases contain trace amounts of compounds such as chlorine and mercury that could also harm the membranes.

"We won't really know what the contaminants will do until we put the membrane into the flue-gas stream," Sholl said. "A key issue will be to show that these materials will work today and tomorrow, and for a long time afterward. The robustness of the materials in a real environment is something that we have to understand."

A carbon capture system based on the hollow-fiber membranes could potentially remove as much as 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from plant emissions. But that would come at a cost: even in the best-case calculations, removal would require at least 10 percent of the plant's energy.

"The reality is that all countries around the world are going to burn coal for the foreseeable future," Sholl added. "We really don't have a choice because we don't have other good sources of baseline load at the level we get from coal. Any technology to economically capture carbon from these facilities could have a big impact."

In addition to those already mentioned, the membrane project includes Krista Walton, Christopher Jones and Sankar Nair, all professors in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. The projects are funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Relations Contacts:
John Toon
404-894-6986


Abby Vogel Robinson
404-385-3364


Technical Contact:
David Sholl

Copyright © Georgia Tech

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015

Novel nanoparticle therapy promotes wound healing March 27th, 2015

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines: Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami March 27th, 2015

Using magnetic fields to understand high-temperature superconductivity: Los Alamos explores experimental path to potential 'next theory of superconductivity' March 27th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015

Novel nanoparticle therapy promotes wound healing March 27th, 2015

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines: Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami March 27th, 2015

Using magnetic fields to understand high-temperature superconductivity: Los Alamos explores experimental path to potential 'next theory of superconductivity' March 27th, 2015

Possible Futures

Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market is expected to reach $8.5 Billion by 2019 March 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology Enabled Drug Delivery to Influence Future Diagnosis and Treatments of Diseases March 21st, 2015

Nanocomposites Market Growth, Industry Outlook To 2020 by Grand View Research, Inc. March 21st, 2015

Nanotechnology Drug Delivery Market in the US 2012-2016 : Latest Report Available by Radiant Insights, Inc March 16th, 2015

Academic/Education

LAMDAMAP 2015 hosted by the University March 26th, 2015

SUNY Poly & M+W Make Major Announcement: Major Expansion To Include M+W Owned Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation That Will Create up to 400 Jobs to Develop Solar Power Plants at SUNY Poly Sites Across New York State March 26th, 2015

SUNY POLY CNSE to Host First Ever Northeast Semi Supply Conference (NESCO) Conference Will Connect New and Emerging Innovators in the Northeastern US and Canada with Industry Leaders and Strategic Investors to Discuss Future Growth Opportunities in NYS March 25th, 2015

FEI Joins University of Ulm and CEOS on SALVE Project Research Collaboration: The Sub-Ångström Low Voltage Electron (SALVE) microscope should improve contrast and reduce damage on bio-molecules and two-dimensional nanomaterials, such as graphene March 18th, 2015

Announcements

UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015

Novel nanoparticle therapy promotes wound healing March 27th, 2015

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines: Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami March 27th, 2015

Using magnetic fields to understand high-temperature superconductivity: Los Alamos explores experimental path to potential 'next theory of superconductivity' March 27th, 2015

Environment

Young NTU Singapore spin-off clinches S$4.3 million joint venture with Chinese commercial giant March 23rd, 2015

New processing technology converts packing peanuts to battery components March 22nd, 2015

EU Funded PCATDES Project has completed its half-period with success March 19th, 2015

Are current water treatment methods sufficient to remove harmful engineered nanoparticle? March 10th, 2015

Industrial

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Announces Next Large Order from the Oil and Gas Industry March 26th, 2015

Young NTU Singapore spin-off clinches S$4.3 million joint venture with Chinese commercial giant March 23rd, 2015

Nanodevice Invented in Iran to Detect Hydrogen Sulfide in Oil, Gas Industry March 20th, 2015

Industrial Production of Nano-Based PVC Products in Iran March 20th, 2015

Research partnerships

SUNY Poly & M+W Make Major Announcement: Major Expansion To Include M+W Owned Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation That Will Create up to 400 Jobs to Develop Solar Power Plants at SUNY Poly Sites Across New York State March 26th, 2015

ORNL-led team demonstrates desalination with nanoporous graphene membrane March 25th, 2015

New kind of 'tandem' solar cell developed: Researchers combine 2 types of photovoltaic material to make a cell that harnesses more sunlight March 24th, 2015

UW scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet March 24th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE