Filtering Power Plant Exhaust with a CO2 Fastlane

By Meghan Bialt-DeCelie ’19

air separation.JPG
Carbon dioxide capture is made more efficient than previous methods with a hybrid membrane of polymer and metal-organic framework.


With the increasing amount of carbon dioxide gas contributing to global climate change, scientists are struggling to find strategies to reduce it.

The usage of hybrid polymer-MOF membranes is being explored as a possible strategy because of their energy and cost efficiency in comparison to previous methods of gas separation. However, these membranes need to be improved in their carbon dioxide permeability, which can be done with a hybrid membrane composed of a polymer and metal-organic framework, made of a porous crystal that can absorb large quantities of molecules. Finding the right balance of the two can impact the membrane’s efficiency and structural integrity.

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that the balance between the metal-organic frameworks and the polymer is in the weight. Because the framework weighs half the membrane, it provides an additional path of CO2 transport through the membrane with a network of “highways”. This optimized hybrid membrane can be a competitive alternative to previous carbon capture methods.



Image Aquired from: https:

New carbon capture membrane boasts carbon dioxide highways. Science Daily (2016).

N.C., Su, et al., Enhanced permeation arising from dual transport pathways in hybrid polymer–MOF membranes. Energy & Environmental Science (2016).


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