Membrane separation processes can be applied to many CO2 capture processes from pre-combustion (CO2-H2 / CO2– CH4 separation) to post-combustion (CO2-N2) and oxyfuel (O2-N2) and are generally endowed with high flexibility and potentially low operating costs when compared to other capture methods. However the current materials lack the separation performance and durability needed for an efficient and economically feasible exploitation of such technology.
The NANOMEMC2 project aims to overcome the current limitation by focusing on the development of innovative CO2 selective membranes with high flux and selectivity suitable for application to both pre and post-combustion capture processes.
To address this objective nano-composite or mixed matrix membranes will be developed with particular focus on facilitated transport mechanisms promoted by carrier attached to the polymer or the filler.
Graphene based nanoplatelets and cellulose nano-fibres will be studied in detail along with possible modification to improve polymer compatibility and affinity with CO2.
New generations of Facilitated Transport Mixed Matrix (FTMM) and Continuous Phase Mixed Matrix membranes for CCS applications will be developed with increased performance for both pre-combustion and post-combustion capture. Both hydrogen selective (for pre-combustion) and CO2 selective membranes (for both pre and post combustion) will be developed targeting flux and selectivity beyond the current performance for industrial deployment of carbon capture membrane technologies.
The general objective of the NANOMEMC2 project is to contribute to a real and effective deployment of CCS technologies by reducing the cost and energy penalty of CO2 capture through the development and optimal integration of innovative membranes for CO2 separation within different energy intensive industrial processes.
It will be implemented through the attainment of the scientific NANOMEMC2 main goal: to fully develop the potential of membranes in the selective capture of CO2 from gaseous emissions, increasing the efficiency of the capture step, and reducing the overall CCS cost below the value of 40€/tonne of CO2 avoided.
NANOMEMC2 will focus on both pre-Combustion and post-combustion strategies thus applying new membranes for separation of CO2 on both fuels and flue gases. To that aim, both CO2 selective and hydrogen selective membranes will be considered in the project to increase flexibility thus maximize the chance of success of the proposed technologies. A novel generation of highly functionalized nano-fillers as well as of novel preparation technologies, able to simultaneously increase permeance and selectivity of the final membranes will be used for the synthesis of advanced hybrid materials. The tunable structure of the nano-particles and a proper functionalization design will allow this new class of nano-material-enhanced hybrid membranes to meet the industrial criteria for a wide deployment of capture process in existing and future energy intensive industrial plants.
NANOMEMC2 will also address the development of new, high efficiency capture processes by actively coupling the research for novel membranes with the simulation and techno-economic analysis of different possible schemes for the efficient implementation of the capture step in the industrial plants of interest.
This specific objectives will be complemented by the NANOMEMC2 cooperation goal: to establish a strong cooperation between Europe and the Republic of Korea in the field of CCS in order to exploit complementary expertise and accelerate the progression towards industrial development of CO2capture solutions. The project will develop a constant flow of knowledge and information with the Korean partners that is at the forefront of research in terms of membrane technology for CO2 capture. In line with the strategic approach adopted by the EU in the international cooperation for R&I and as reinforced at the 5th EU-Korea Joint S&T Cooperation Committee in June 2015, the EU and Korea face similar challenges and share many values and concerns. CCS is one of these challenges and thus focusing the collaboration among European and Korean scientists and innovators will provide mutual beneficial.
The NANOMEMC2 approach is to address, through process intensification and technological innovation, three of the highest priorities in the EU energy-intensive industry, namely:
- CO2 emissions reduction (- 35% for basic set up);
- Energy penalty (from current 30% of amine absorption down to potential 20% expected)
- Cost competitiveness (at least -20% for both CAPEX and OPEX).
The NANOMEMC2 project will have relevant impacts in the EU industry and global markets, by:
– Contributing to advance the knowledge on new materials, technologies and processes for cost-efficient and high-performance CO2 capture. The NANOMEMC2 project aims at the development of next generation capture processes based on membrane gas separation processes and the use of innovative solution for hybrid membranes exploiting facilitated transport or sieving mechanisms;
– Build a strong and concrete case for rapid industrial application, by demonstrating and pre-validating the above innovations for two crucial EU industrial sectors during the project (oil refineries and cement production). Several options will be investigated in term of process flow sheet and the combination of synthesis and characterisation with the modelling at the molecular and process scale.
– Substantially improving the competitiveness of EU industry, by lowering the cost of CO2 capture and increasing the overall efficiency, thus promoting a sustainable and competitive European industry at the same time. Moreover, a series of concrete assets (hybrid materials, new membranes and products, new or re-designed CO2 capture processes, etc) will be available at the end of the project, to be exploited by project partners, following a well-designed exploitation plan. Finally, relevant project results will be disseminated to the industrial community via dedicated channels and actions (i.e. industrial workshop), thus enhancing the replicability of the NANOMEMC2 solutions.
– Contributing to the full unleashing of the economic potential of CCS and in particular the CO2 capture markets for EU materials and technology providers, process modelling and simulation experts, through the set up of a strong business model and related business plan for the NANOMEMC2 innovations.
The impact of NANOMEMC2 on the environment, and by reflection on society, is also well defined, as the whole project is focused on CO2 capture technology. The primary goal is indeed the development of highly efficient and effective processes for the reduction of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, to reduce the greenhouse effect and the issues related to climate change.
Therefore, the technologies under development, in terms of novel materials and innovative processes, as well as the scientific progresses, are expected to contribute significantly to the reduction of the carbon footprint of industries and power plants and, in the longer time scale, to be capable of mitigating the greenhouse effect and the consequent issues related to climate change.
NANOMEMC2 is a project funded by the European Commission. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement n° 727734. This website reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.