Dendritic silver self-assembly in molten-carbonate membranes for efficient carbon dioxide capture

Liam A. McNeil, Greg A. Mutch, Francesco Iacoviello, Josh J. Bailey, Georgios Triantafyllou, Dragos Neagu, Thomas S. Miller, Evangelos I. Papaioannou, Wenting Hu, Dan J. L. Brett, Paul R. Shearing, Ian S. Metcalfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Membranes for CO2 capture should offer high permeant fluxes to keep membrane surface area small and material requirements low. Ag-supported, dual-phase, molten-carbonate membranes routinely demonstrate the highest CO2 fluxes in this class of membrane. However, using Ag as a support incurs high cost. Here, the non-equilibrium conditions of permeation were exploited to stimulate the self-assembly of a percolating, dendritic network of Ag from the molten carbonate. Multiple membrane support geometries and Ag incorporation methods were employed, demonstrating the generality of the approach, while X-ray micro-computed tomography confirmed that CO2 and O2 permeation stimulated self-assembly. We report the highest flux of Ag-supported molten-salt membranes to date (1.25 ml min−1 cm−2 at 650 °C) and ultrahigh permeability (9.4 × 10−11 mol m−1 s−1 Pa−1), surpassing the permeability requirement for economically-competitive post-combustion CO2 capture, all whilst reducing the membrane-volume-normalised demand for Ag by one order of magnitude.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1766-1775
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy & Environmental Science
Issue number6
Early online date29 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • CO2 separation
  • climate change
  • carbon capture


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