Honors Gallery

Nano-Stabilized Enzymatic Membrane for CO2 Capture

Award: Notable Technology Development

Year: 2014

Award Type:

Region: Mid-Continent

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

Electricity-generating plants, especially coal-fired plants, and other industry that generate carbon dioxide face new regulations limiting emission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

A new solution and technology, nano-stabilized enzymatic membranes for CO2 capture, can provide a simple, energy-efficient approach to capture than conventional methods. The process removes 90 percent of the CO2 in emitted gas mixtures and is expected to save the U.S. coal industry alone $90 billion a year.

The technology uses computational modeling to design and nanofabrication techniques to synthesize membranes with thin, narrow and airtight liquid layers. By embedding an enzyme that converts CO2 gas into a more soluble form, the liquid-layered membranes efficiently capture CO2 from power plant flue gas. Researchers from Sandia and the University of New Mexico partnered to develop the technology.