A new chemical sponge out of the University of Nottingham has the potential to lessen the carbon footprint of the oil industry.
Professor Martin Schröder and Dr. Sihai Yang of the University of Nottingham led a multi-disciplinary team from various institutions, which resulted in the discovery of this novel chemical sponge that separates a number of important gases from mixtures generated during crude oil refinement.
Crude oil has many uses – from fueling cars and heating homes to creating polymers and other useful materials. However, the existing process for producing this fuel has not been as efficient as it could possibly be.
This from University of Nottingham:
The existing industrial process uses huge amounts of energy to separate and purify these gases, so the new technique has the potential to revolutionize the oil industry by significantly reducing carbon emissions and making the process more environmentally friendly.
The sponge, which is made from cheap organic materials, can produce the same results as already existing industrial processes without the need for high pressure or very low temperatures.
“With the help of advanced central facilities like Diamond, ISIS [Science and Technology Facilities Council’s ISIS Neutron Facility], and ORNL [Oak Ridge National Laboratory], we have developed a new separation technique which can potentially reduce the energy usage associated with oil, petroleum, and chemical industries which require the separation of raw hydrocarbons from crude oil,” said Dr. Sihai Yang, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham.
If you’re interested in engineering innovations like this, you’re going to want to check out the upcoming ECS Conference on Electrochemical Energy Conversion & Storage with SOFC-XIV.