The new process separates chemicals at a molecular level without using heat
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Spotted: An invisible polluter, industrial chemical separation is a necessity in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, oil refinement, and semiconductor and vegetable oil production. Accounting for up to 15 per cent of the world’s energy use, the process of separating chemicals for commercial and industrial use creates significant volumes of carbon emissions – possibly up to 10 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases.
Seeking a way to reduce the environmental harm of those processes, Singapore-based Seppure built a membrane capable of separating even the harshest chemicals at the molecular level without using heat. Built with nanotechnology, the membrane is so strong yet porous at a nano level that it can be reused multiple times, in a wide range of temperatures, and remain resistant to degradation from the chemicals with which it comes into contact.
Importantly, the membranes can be used throughout the processes of separation, from distillation to evaporation, without heat at any stage. By removing the need for high temperatures, the new membranes conserve water while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Resource conservation and energy conservation are key aims in every industry. Springwise is spotting an exciting mix of initiatives that tackle these goals, from magnetic levitation for frictionless motors, to a new method for extracting lithium that recycles water and brine.
Written by: Keely Khoury