Advancing adsorption and membrane separation processes for the gigaton carbon capture challenge

Jennifer Wilcox, Reza Haghpanah, Erik C. Rupp, Jiajun He, Kyoungjin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Reducing CO2 in the atmosphere and preventing its release from point-source emitters, such as coal and natural gas-fired power plants, is a global challenge measured in gigatons. Capturing CO2 at this scale will require a portfolio of gas-separation technologies to be applied over a range of applications in which the gas mixtures and operating conditions will vary. Chemical scrubbing using absorption is the current state-of-The-Art technology. Considerably less attention has been given to other gas-separation technologies, including adsorption and membranes. It will take a range of creative solutions to reduce CO2 at scale, thereby slowing global warming and minimizing its potential negative environmental impacts. This review focuses on the current challenges of adsorption and membrane-separation processes. Technological advancement of these processes will lead to reduced cost, which will enable subsequent adoption for practical scaled-up application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-505
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Carbon capture and sequestration
  • Climate change
  • Membranes
  • Minimum thermodynamic work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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