Navigation Links
Minnesota discovery could make fuel and plastics production more energy efficient and cost effective
Date:10/12/2011

A University of Minnesota team of researchers has overcome a major hurdle in the quest to design a specialized type of molecular sieve that could make the production of gasoline, plastics and various chemicals more cost effective and energy efficient. The breakthrough research, led by chemical engineering and materials science professor Michael Tsapatsis in the university's College of Science and Engineering, is published in the most recent issue of the journal Science.

After more than a decade of research, the team devised a means for developing free-standing, ultra-thin zeolite nanosheets that as thin films can speed up the filtration process and require less energy. The team has a provisional patent and hopes to commercialize the technology.

"In addition to research on new renewable fuels, chemicals and natural plastics, we also need to look at the production processes of these and other products we use now and try to find ways to save energy," Tsapatsis said.

Separating mixed substances can demand considerable amounts of energycurrently estimated to be approximately 15 percent of the total energy consumptionpart of which is wasted due to process inefficiencies. In days of abundant and inexpensive fuel, this was not a major consideration when designing industrial separation processes such as distillation for purifying gasoline and polymer precursors. But as energy prices rise and policies promote efficiency, the need for more energy-efficient alternatives has grown.

One promising option for more energy-efficient separations is high-resolution molecular separation with membranes. They are based on preferential adsorption and/or sieving of molecules with minute size and shape differences. Among the candidates for selective separation membranes, zeolite materials (crystals with molecular-sized pores) show particular promise.

While zeolites have been used as adsorbents and catalysts for several decades, there have been substantial challenges in processing zeolitic materials into extended sheets that remain intact. To enable energy-savings technology, scientists needed to develop cost-effective, reliable and scalable deposition methods for thin film zeolite formation.

The University of Minnesota team used sound waves in a specialized centrifuge process to develop "carpets" of flaky crystal-type nanosheets that are not only flat, but have just the right amount of thickness. The resulting product can be used to separate molecules as a sieve or as a membrane barrier in both research and industrial applications.

"We think this discovery holds great promise in commercial applications," said Kumar Varoon, a University of Minnesota chemical engineering and materials science Ph.D. candidate and one of the primary authors of the paper published in Science. "This material has good coverage and is very thin. It could significantly reduce production costs in refineries and save energy."


'/>"/>

Contact: Rhonda Zurn
rzurn@umn.edu
612-626-7959
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Minnesota ecology professor wins international award for biodiversity and biofuels research
2. U of Minnesota researcher finds link between aggression, status and sex
3. Hobbit fossils represent a new species, concludes University of Minnesota anthropologist
4. Small male chimps use politics, rather than aggression, to lead the pack, U of Minnesota study says
5. U of Minnesota research finds most road salt is making it into the states lakes and rivers
6. Concerns about food safety to be spotlighted at U of Minnesota symposium
7. U of Minnesota study finds high school teachers influence student views of evolution & creationism
8. U of Minnesota research reveals critical role of evolutionary processes in species coexistence
9. Minnesota Counties Secure New Criminal Charging System With BIO-key(R) Fingerprint Biometrics
10. U of Minnesota-led study finds that hunters are depleting lion and cougar populations
11. Environmental cues control reproductive timing and longevity, University of Minnesota study shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2017)... The biometrics market has reached a ... organizations, desires to better authenticate or identify users ... challenge questions), biometrics is quickly working its way ... is driven by use cases, though there traditionally ... uses cases, with consumer-facing use cases encompassing authentication, ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... 2017 Ipsidy Inc. ( www.ipsidy.com ... IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or the "Company") a provider of secure, ... is pleased to announce the following changes as part ... January 31, 2017, Philip D. Beck was ... President.  An experienced payment industry professional and public company ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 2, 2017   TapImmune, Inc. ... immuno-oncology company specializing in the development of innovative ... treatment of cancer and metastatic disease, announced today ... GMP manufacturing of a second clinical lot of ... folate receptor alpha. The manufactured vaccine product will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017 Aviva Systems ... announced the acquisition of GenWay Biotech Incorporated, a ... service and product offering for both the research ... facilitate growth and enhance capabilities for both entities. GenWay,s ... ELISA assays will nicely complement ASB,s objective to ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... UK (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... optics and photonics , have been named Fellows of the Society this year, ... technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging as well ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... that is has acquired Kendall Research Systems, LLC (KRS) clinical development ... that develops neural interface technology for research and clinical applications. The terms of ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Feb. 22, 2017  PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology, Inc. announced today ... at the Annual Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference.  ... 11:15 AM, at the Torrey Pines Lodge, in San ... organizers at Biocom who have chosen our company, amongst ... biotechnology companies, investors, and clinical researchers," said Mr. Chen. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: