Zeolites are porous minerals that occur both naturally but also are being synthesized artificially. Because they are stable and durable, zeolites are used for chemical catalysis, purification of gases and liquids, and even in medical applications such as drug delivery and blood-clotting powders, e.g. the QuickClot trauma bandages used in the US military.
Zeolites used in gas separation are usually produced as membranes. The state-of-the-art zeolitic membranes are manufactured by a lengthy and complex crystallization process. Unfortunately, this method has proved difficult to reproduce. Also, it lacks in producing efficient gas-separation membranes, especially when it comes to the separation of hydrogen and carbon dioxide, which is necessary for pre-combustion carbon capture from power plants.
A team of chemical engineers led by Kumar Agrawal at EPFL Valais Wallis have now successfully simplified the chemistry behind zeolite membrane synthesis, making it simple, reproducible, and scalable. The achievement of the longstanding goal is
The power of the sun, wind and sea may soon combine to produce clean-burning hydrogen fuel, according to a team of Penn State researchers. The team integrated water purification technology into a new proof-of-concept design for a sea water electrolyzer, which uses an electric current to split apart the hydrogen and oxygen in water molecules.
This new method for “sea water splitting” could make it easier to turn wind and solar energy into a storable and portable fuel, according to Bruce Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering and Evan Pugh University Professor.
“Hydrogen is a great fuel, but you have to make it,” Logan said. “The only sustainable way to do that is to use renewable energy and produce it from water. You also need to use water that people do not want to use for other things, and that would be sea water. So, the holy grail of producing