Winterthur - Researchers from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) have developed a new material for the recovery of CO2 from the air. This allows the process to also be carried out at lower temperatures, making the method more energy-efficient as a result.

Separating CO2 from the air around us is one of a number of measures that can help to combat climate change. Ambient air is sucked into a kind of filter that is coated with CO2-absorbing material. The material is then heated to around 80 to 100 degrees Celsius so that the CO2 molecules start to dissolve. The CO2 obtained in this way can, for example, be stored in a suitable basalt rock for thousands of years or be used in commercial applications.

ZHAW generates efficiency gains in CO2 recovery
Image: ZHAW

Researchers at the Institute of Materials and Process Engineering (IMPE) at ZHAW have now developed a new hybrid material made from of polyethyleneimine and ionic liquid. It has been named IMPE-Cap and facilitates the recovery of CO2 molecules even at lower temperatures. In a lab setting, the method has already allowed scientists to dissolve CO2 at just 50 degrees Celsius, the university reports in a press release.

“The energy-saving potential in this process is huge and has so far been underestimated”, comments ZHAW researcher Nobutaka Maeda in the press release. According to Maeda, the IMPE-Cap harbors the potential both to save energy and cut operating costs for the recovery of CO2 in industrial applications.

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