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Open Lecture:CO2 separation from the environment via membrane technology

Linnaeus University will be visited by a guest lecturer from Kyushu University in Japan who will hold a lecture on CO2 separation from the environment via membrane technology.

Here follows a short presentation of the content of his lecture.

Exploring the feasibility of gas-separation membrane technology for direct air capture of carbon dioxide.

Roman Selyanchyn, Ph.D., Kyushu University, Japan

As humanity approaches the critical limit of 1.5°C planetary warming and exhausts the available carbon emission budget, the removal of CO2 already emitted into the atmosphere is an unavoidable necessity.

Using natural solutions, employing sustainable social practices, and, most importantly, quickly phasing out fossil fuels are the first necessary steps. However, sooner or later, the technological solutions for CO2 removal from the atmosphere or ocean should be as well deployed at scale.

Direct capture of CO2 from the air (DAC) is a technical solution with a relevant potential capture capacity and is expected to reach ca. 60-million-ton CO2 capture by 2030. Currently, two main approaches are used to capture CO2 directly from the air: solid and liquid DAC, which use solid adsorbents and liquid adsorbents. Both have already reached the level of plant scale. Most of the energy is consumed in the form of heat by both methods that is needed to drive the CO2 desorption process.
On the other hand, in the conventional carbon capture at point sources (e.g., heat power plants), gas separation by membranes is known as a more cost- and energy-efficient process than mentioned liquid adsorbent and solid sorbent capture technologies. However, in contrast to a conventional technology domain, DAC processes built on membrane-based gas separation have yet to be developed. The main obstacles to DAC application are insufficient separation performance, especially CO2 low permeance.

However, the recent developments in membrane technology and our group's research have allowed specific membrane processes to be considered a new approach to DAC.

In this presentation, I will discuss how Japan aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, mostly relying on technological solutions (unlike countries like Sweden, which use biomass as a main driver for decarbonization). Then I will explain membrane technologies' potential for DAC from the process simulation point of view; describe our efforts in the development and scaling up the ultrathin membranes (nanomembranes); assembly of the practical size membrane modules, and overall future potential for the new m-DAC technology's broad deployment in the society and industry.


Roman Selyanchyn

Roman Selyanchyn is an associate professor at the Platform for Inter/Transdisciplinary Energy Research (Q-PIT), Kyushu University, Japan. He received his Master's degree in 2002 from Uzhhorod Nationa University (Ukraine) and then a Ph.D. in environmental engineering in 2012 from the University of Kitakyushu (Japan). Since 2014, he became a postdoctoral researcher in the CO2 Capture and Utilization Division of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER), Kyushu University. He was later promoted to assistant professor in 2019.

In 2022, Roman joined Q-PIT as an associate professor and sub-coordinator of the energy educational promotion division. His current research interests are related to developing membranes based on synthetic organic polymers, biopolymers, hybrid and inorganic materials for a broad range of gas separation applications.


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