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Energy-efficient membranes for carbon capture by crystal engineering of two-dimensional nanoporous materials

Objective

The EU integrated strategic energy technology plan, SET-plan, in its 2016 progress report, has called for urgent measures on the carbon capture, however, the high energy-penalty and environmental issues related to the conventional capture process (amine-based scrubbing) has been a major bottleneck. High-performance membranes can reduce the energy penalty for the capture, are environment-friendly (no chemical is used, no waste is generated), can intensify chemical processes, and can be employed for the capture in a decentralized fashion. However, a technological breakthrough is needed to realize such chemically and thermally stable, high-performance membranes. This project seeks to develop the ultimate high-performance membranes for H2/CO2 (pre-combustion capture), CO2/N2 (post-combustion capture), and CO2/CH4 separations (natural gas sweetening). Based on calculations, these membranes will yield a gigantic gas permeance (1 and 0.1 million GPU for the H2 and the CO2 selective membranes, respectively), 1000 and 10-fold higher than that of the state-of-the-art polymeric and nanoporous membranes, respectively, reducing capital expenditure per unit performance and the needed membrane area. For this, we introduce three novel concepts, combining the top-down and the bottom-up crystal engineering approaches to develop size-selective, chemically and thermally stable, nanoporous two-dimensional membranes. First, exfoliated nanoporous 2d nanosheets will be stitched in-plane to synthesize the truly-2d membranes. Second, metal-organic frameworks will be confined across a nanoporous 2d matrix to prepare a composite 2d membrane. Third, atom-thick graphene films with tunable, uniform and size-selective nanopores will be crystallized using a novel thermodynamic equilibrium between the lattice growth and etching. Overall, the innovative concepts developed here will open up several frontiers on the synthesis of high-performance membranes for a wide-range of separation processes.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/coating and films
  • /humanities/arts/modern and contemporary art/film
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/gas
  • /engineering and technology/materials engineering/crystals
  • /engineering and technology/nanotechnology/nano-materials/two-dimensional nanostructures/graphene

Call for proposal

ERC-2018-STG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Host institution

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Switzerland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 875 000

Beneficiaries (1)

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 1 875 000
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments