A new method for separating chemicals could save $2 billion a year in energy costs in the U.S., according to an article from Scientific American. The synthetic membrane developed by Exxon Mobil researchers would also reportedly avert 45 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions around the world annually.
Exxon Mobil researchers have developed a synthetic membrane that can distinguish between closely related molecules and survive in conditions where other membranes fall apart. When deployed at scale, according to the article, using the membrane to separate organic chemicals could reportedly result in a 10- to 20-fold decrease in energy intensity. Currently, “between 40 and 60% of the energy used to make clean water, fuels and industrial chemicals goes toward separation.”
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