Carbon Nanotube Membranes

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OPEN 2009
Hayward, California
Project Term:
03/01/2010 - 03/31/2013

Technology Description:

Porifera is developing carbon nanotube membranes that allow more efficient removal of CO2 from coal plant exhaust. Most of today's carbon capture methods use chemical solvents, but capture methods that use membranes to draw CO2 out of exhaust gas are potentially more efficient and cost effective. Traditionally, membranes are limited by the rate at which they allow gas to flow through them and the amount of CO2 they can attract from the gas. Smooth support pores and the unique structure of Porifera's carbon nanotube membranes allows them to be more permeable than other polymeric membranes, yet still selective enough for CO2 removal. This approach could overcome the barriers facing membrane-based approaches for capturing CO2 from coal plant exhausts.

Potential Impact:

If successful, Porifera's project would position membrane-based carbon capture ahead of chemical absorption techniques and enable significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.


Enabling continued use of domestic coal for electricity generation will preserve the stability of the electric grid.


Carbon capture technology could prevent more than 800 million tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere each year.


Improving the cost-effectiveness of carbon capture methods will minimize added costs to homeowners and businesses using electricity generated by coal-fired power plants for the foreseeable future.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Karma Sawyer
Project Contact:
Dr. Olgica Bakajin
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of California, Berkeley
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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