Capturing CO2 with thin films

July 14th 2020

DIFFER is joining forces with local company Carbyon and Eindhoven University of Technology to further develop Carbyon's innovative system to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. The one year research project is supported through a grant by the Eindhoven Engine initiative and aims to develop commercially viable technology for direct air capture of the greenhouse gas.

To keep greenhouse gas emissions in check and limit the global temperature change to 1.5 - 2 degrees Centigrade, we will need an energy infrastructure that produces as little CO2 as possible. We will also need to recapture any CO2 emissions we cannot prevent, such as from burning of kerosene during long-distance air travel. Outfitting airplanes with CO2 scrubbers is not feasible, and so research turns to Direct Air Capture, where dedicated machinery sifts the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.

Direct Air Capture is a key technology to creating new fuels from captured CO2

Thin film CO2 sieve

The Direct Air Capture system developed by the Dutch start-up Carbyon uses ultra-porous thin films with a huge internal surface to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. In contrast with other, more bulky capture materials, the Carbyon system does not require huge pumps to drive air through its thin films.

DIFFER researcher Mike Gleeson: "DIFFER’s part in this research project is to look at maximizing the energy efficiency of releasing CO2 from the capturing material." While heating to about 80 oC works, Gleeson and his colleagues will investigate whether the CO2 can be freed using microwave or infra-red heating techniques to save energy.

Eindhoven Engine

Eindhoven Engine accelerates innovation in the Brainport region to provide new and timely technology-based solutions as an answer to the societal challenges our generation and environment is facing. The project funds public-private initiatives around innovation topics supported and executed by consortia with key industrial and TU/e partners.