Project full name:
The project Nanocomposite and Nanostructured Polymeric Membranes for Gas and Vapour Separations - acronym DoubleNanoMem, is a small or medium scale collaborative research project under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, Theme 4: Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New Production Technologies – NMP, in the area Mastering Nanoscale Complexity in Material, topic Nanostructured Membrane Materials.
The project addresses the development of new membrane materials, in view of a number of specific industrially relevant separation problems, mostly related to energy or environmental problems.
Modern society has to cope with different problems, directly or indirectly related to the immense use of fossil fuels in our daily life. The need for sustainability necessitates that the impact of the use of these fuels is limited (e.g. reduction of the CO2 emissions), that these fuels are used more efficiently (e.g. removing of inert species from natural gas) or that alternative energy sources are found (production of biofuel).
All these ‘topics’ require some important separation or purification steps, e.g. CO2 separation from flue gas, nitrogen or CO2 separation from natural gas or ethanol isolation and purification from fermentation broth in biofuel production plants. Must of these separations are traditionally done by energy consuming processes, such as absorption, cryogenic separations or distillation.
Membrane based processes have been recognized as the possible alternative to the mentioned separations. However, current state-of-the-art polymeric membranes have difficulties to replace the existing technology, in part owing to fundamental limitations in the optimum performance of such membranes. Mixed matrix materials are seen as the most promising tool to overcome these limitations, combining the optimum performances of the polymeric materials and the filler particles.
This Project is funded by the European Commission.