Graphene may play a role in carbon dioxide capture, if scientists can reproduce results of a recent experiment.

A way to cut carbon dioxide levels — produced from burning fossil fuels and released into the atmosphere — is through carbon capture, a chemical technique that can remove carbon dioxide from emissions using polymer filters that can pick out carbon dioxide from a mix of gases.

The captured carbon can then be recycled or stored in gas or liquid form, a process known as sequestration.

As reported by Graphene Info, scientists at Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a new class of high-performance membranes that exceed post-combustion capture targets by a significant margin.

The membranes they developed are based on single-layer graphene with a selective layer thinner than 20 nanometres, and can be more easily manipulated to fit conditions, giving them potential as next-generation high-performance membranes for several critical separations.

“Functionalizing CO2-selective polymeric chains on nanoporous graphene allows us to fabricate nanometer-thick yet CO2-selective membranes,” Kumar Vargoon Agrawal, head scientist.

“This two-dimensional nature of the membrane drastically increases the CO2 permeance, making membranes even more attractive for carbon capture. The concept is highly generic, and a number of high-performance gas separations are possible in this way.”

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