CINE’s collaboration with a German research center makes possible research on membranes for separation of CO2.
A scientific collaboration between researchers from CINE and from an important research center in Germany made possible the development of production techniques of porous membranes with high efficiency for separation of carbon dioxide (CO2).
The research is part of the efforts made in CINE’s Division “Methane to Products” to convert methane (an abundant gas on planet Earth) into higher added value fuels and chemical compounds. These membranes separate the CO2 present in gases that are used in the conversion of methane into products, making this process more efficient. Additionally, the capture of CO2 allows its use as a raw material in other industrial processes. The membranes could also be used to capture the CO2 generated in combustion processes, preventing it from the being issued into the atmosphere.
In the context of the collaboration, the researcher Sabrina Carvalho, who is doing a post-doctorate in the context of CINE at the Energy and Nuclear Research Institute (IPEN, Brazil), did a research internship at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research of Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) during the first semester of 2020. This center, which is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, is one of the most important in interdisciplinary research of Europe.
The work conducted in Jülich consisted of producing composite ceramic membranes (ceria-gadolinium/alkaline halides carbonates) using two techniques in which the German institute has expertise and equipment: tape casting and freeze drying. With a specialist in membrane production by tape casting, Sabrina developed the technique to apply it in the production of porous materials. “We have the equipment at IPEN, then it is possible to continue the production in Brazil”, tells the researcher. The post-doc also produced membranes using the freeze drying technique. “It is an innovative technique for the production of materials with control of the structure of pores, which has not yet been published in Brazil”, she comments. Studies with the membranes obtained started in the internship in Germany and continue at IPEN.