ZSW launches project for CO2 separation using fabrics
In starting work on the CORA research project, the Centre for So-lar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) in Germany wants to lay the foundations for achieving the climate targets more quickly. CORA – short for CO2 raw material from air – is the name for a technology which is being developed to allow carbon dioxide (CO2) to be extracted from the air and processed. Both industry and environment could benefit from this process. It is not possible to avoid CO2emissions completely, therefore CO2 must be extracted from the atmosphere, stored or used as a raw material in a parallel economical and ecological process. The re-search results should therefore facilitate the replacement of the current fossil carbon sources (crude oil, natural gas and coal) based on the use of air as a renewable and virtually inexhaustible resource. The ZSW has joined forces with the German Institutes of Textile and Fiber Research (DITF), the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg (ifeu) and Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen to work on this future technology.
The innovative technology for the CO2 separation process is supposed to work by taking CO2 from the atmosphere and separating it from the air with a mat made of cellulose fibres and amines (organic com-pounds) and processing it as a raw material. The question as to whether the mat of fibres being developed by the ZSW Stuttgart with the DITF is the fabric from which a climate-friendly future will be woven remains to be answered in the course of the project.
The cellulose fibres used as the backing material must extract a suffi-ciently large amount of carbon dioxide from the air to be commercially viable. The scientists involved in the project are therefore faced with the challenge of working with a tape of fabric which absorbs and de-sorbs CO2 efficiently. This will run parallel to the development and test-ing of a tape apparatus system which will make it possible to desorb CO2 in different zones of the running tape, and therefore in a continual process, and to make it available in concentrated form. The new pro-cess is being developed with the aim of achieving a noticeable de-crease in the power consumption by dispensing with large air blowers and with a view to obtaining water as well as CO2 during the desorp-tion process.
The Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg, ZSW) is one of the leading institutes for applied research in the areas of photovoltaics, renewable fuels, battery technology, fuel cells and energy system analysis. There are currently around 300 scientists, engineers and technicians employed at the three ZSW sites in Stuttgart, Ulm and Widderstall. In addition, there are 100 research and student assistants. The ZSW is a member of the Innovationsallianz Baden-Württemberg (innBW), a group of 13 independent applied research institutes.