Catalysts, Membranes and Separations

World energy use is exponentially increasing. As a result, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is increasing rapidly as well. Within the Catalysis, Membranes and Separations (CMS) cluster, various technologies are under development that can mitigate the CO2 effects of an ever growing world economy.

For carbon capture, there are three main technology lines.

In pre-combustion carbon capture the CO2 is removed before combustion, by converting the (fossil or bio-based) fuel to hydrogen and CO2. The CO2 can be stored and the hydrogen is used as fuel. In post-combustion carbon capture, the CO2 is separated from flue gas. And in oxyfiring, the fuel is burnt with pure oxygen in order to have a flue gas consisting of easy separable water and CO2. All these technologies involve the development of novel materials, be it novel catalysts, membranes, sorbents or solvents.

The CMS cluster works on technologies for CO2 capture from fossil fuels, but also looks ahead towards a bio-based economy with a number of projects on efficient conversion of biomass. The link with our industrial partners that are active in the oil, gas and energy sector is key for the development of efficient sustainable technologies to reduce CO2 emissions.