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FUSION — Result In Brief

Project ID: 14032
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Ireland

The quest to perfect gas separation

The development of sophisticated filter membranes for gas separation using novel materials may help purify the air. Many other important applications in science and industry are set to benefit as well.
The quest to perfect gas separation
New technology based on porous, inorganic materials (PIMs) is showing exciting promise in gas separation, such as removing CO2 from air. The latter , for example, has huge potential in industry but also in treating environmental contamination and reducing our carbon footprint.

The EU-funded project 'Fundamental Sstudies of Ttransport in iInorganic nNanostructures' (Fusion) has brought together leading researchers in chemistry, physical chemistry, material science and engineering from around the world to investigate the potential of PIMs.

It Researchers looked at ultra-thin PIMs from a molecular level to overcome challenges associated with developing ultra-high performance, high temperature, gas separation materials and membranes (i.e. filters).

Recent advances in the field have helped control and manipulate key molecular-level behaviour associated with ultra-thin, nano-porous inorganic material (NPIM) performance. The project team focussed on materials such as amorphous metal oxides (AMOs), structured mesoporous silicas (SMSs) and zeolites, which can handle high temperatures and manipulation very well.

The project developed simulation and modelling tools for new technologies, as well as various techniques for measuring gas separation in ultra-thin NPIMs. It also assessed performance and cost effectiveness of these novel materials in capturing CO2 and other gasses. Different materials and membranes were developed and put under the test to verify effectiveness, achieving an unparalleled degree of effectiveness at high temperature. This involved ultra-thin nano-porous membranes that handle very small molecular size differences. A membrane membrane-holding apparatus was also developed successfully.

In summary, the Fusion project has helped advance the technology for high temperature CO2 capture through membrane technology. The new techniques and software tools developed will most likely lead to numerous applications, including ones that will contribute to a cleaner environment.

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