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S. Korean scientists develop new, advanced material for carbon capture

A group of South Korean scientists has developed a new and much more advanced material that can capture carbon dioxide, and at a significantly lower price, the science ministry said Friday.

Using nano particles, the team from Seoul's Hanyang University has developed a new membrane that can specifically capture only carbon dioxide or other molecules of different sizes if necessary, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

Currently, high molecules or polymers are used to produce membranes for carbon capture and sequestration, but polymers have very limited efficiency in separating carbon dioxide from other elements, including clean or useful elements such as hydrogen, the ministry said in a press release.

The new material, on the other hand, can be constructed to make pores a specific size by controlling the distance between nano particles in the membrane, allowing it to capture only specifically targeted elements, including carbon dioxide, for the first time in the world.

As a result, the nano-based membrane is up to 1,000 times more efficient than conventional membranes in capturing and separating carbon dioxide, though it costs significantly less to produce the new and advanced membrane, according to the ministry.

"We will work to commercialize the technology at an early date through additional research and efficiency tests," said Park Sang-do, the head of the country's carbon capture and sequestration R&D center, adding the new technology could be commercialized in less than three years.

The work by the team from Hanyang University has also been published in the online edition of the international journal Science. (Yonhap News)