Friday, September 16, 2016

New Patent Boosts CO2 Capture Hopes

Cost-effective capture of CO2 from coal-fired power stations is now a much brighter prospect after a bioscience breakthrough at a US laboratory.

Emissions from coal-fired power plants have massively pushed up carbon dioxide ratios in the atmosphere. (Image Credit: UniversityBlogSpot via Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
A technology that could in theory catch 90% of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power stations has been patented by US government scientists.

Employing an enzyme-based membrane fabric 10 times thinner than a soap bubble, it could separate carbon dioxide from nitrogen or oxygen and speed up its dissolution in water by a factor of 10 million.  And its triumphant designers say that, in laboratory trials, it does the job − at a cost-effective $40 a ton.
Carbon capture technology is – and has looked so for some time – a last resort for a world of climate change.

Global temperatures
Overall, prospects have not been hopeful for successful capture at speed, cheaply and on a huge scale.

So the Sandia enzyme-based membrane – its trademark name is CO2 Memzyme – at least offers a new approach.  But it’s still a laboratory product, and commercial use is a long way off.

Scaling up to power station practicality remains a challenge, but Professor Susan Rempe, a research professor in biological engineering at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and her colleagues think the technology can meet the US Department of Energy’s target of 90% of CO2 emissions by 2025, at $40 a ton.

Read more at New Patent Boosts CO2 Capture Hopes

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