UCLA researchers in the Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Civil and Environmental Engineering have developed a method to selectively tune polymer membranes (polyaniline) by incorporating graphene oxide. Additionally, the films produced by this method are capable of separating greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from air on an industrially relevant scale.
Separation and trapping of CO2 during industrial processes, such as coal burning, is critical in limiting the warming effect of greenhouse gases. Cheaper and easier to process than inorganic counterparts, organic polymeric thin film membranes have emerged as a viable solution for industrial CO2 separation. Unfortunately, widespread application of such films is limited by low CO2 permeability into the film and low tolerance to elevated temperatures.
UCLA researchers have developed a polymeric thin film capable of high CO2 permeability and temperature tolerance of up to 170 ºC for industrial separation of CO2 from flue-gas. The film ranges from 1.3 to 45um in thickness, depending on composition, and has been successfully developed and tested. Developed films exhibited a CO2 permeability of >700 Barrers, compared to 1 Barrer of traditional films. In addition, the film exhibited a preferential selectivity of 10 for CO2/N2. This simple doping process can be easily scalable and tuned with permeability approaching the upper bound indicated on a Robeson plot, allowing for unprecedented opportunities in CO2 separation and trapping.
Films have been successfully developed and tested.
CO2, carbon dioxide, separation, greenhouse gas, global warming, thin film, polymer, polyaniline, graphene oxide, doping, permeability, selectivity, flue-gas, power plant, coal