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A Material Thinner Than Human Hair Could Slash Carbon Emissions

Nov. 4, 2021, 12:32 PM

Osmoses, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinoff, has created a membrane material thinner than human hair to reduce carbon emissions from industrial processes such as natural gas production.

Today, businesses use an energy-intensive technique called separation to filter out the valuable methane from other gases. That often requires using fossil fuels to boil off the unwanted chemicals — a process that can account for as much as 15% of world energy demand, according to a 2016 study.

Instead, Osmoses uses membranes thinner than 1 millionth-of-a-meter — made from carbon and hydrogen — that can remove the unwanted molecules using as much as 60% less energy than a conventional process, said Francesco Maria Benedetti, the startup’s chief executive officer. ...

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