A gas separation apparatus operating on the basis of supercapacitance


A Gas Separation Apparatus Operating

on the Basis of Supercapacitance


Transformative Technology for CO2 Capture and Gas Purification


Supercapacitance gas separation is a potentially transformative technology

that could simplify and lower the costs of carbon capture. Kai Landskron of

Lehigh University discovered that supercapacitors can absorb carbon dioxide

selectively from flue gas and other gas streams when they are electrically

charged, and release carbon dioxide when discharged. This phenomenon is

a novel property of supercapacitors that has never been previously observed.

The inventor has used this capability as the basis for constructing a new

device that selectively captures carbon dioxide and other polar gases.


Polar gases like CO2 are adsorbed onto the porous components of the

capacitor. Discharging the power releases, the adsorbed gas and provides

a current that can be used to charge a parallel system. The system can

recycle the power used and only a small percentage of the original charge

is lost; thus there is minimal power consumption.



The SSA system uses inexpensive materials, has no moving parts and

requires no added chemicals. It should be easy to operate and have low

operating costs. The life time for supercapacitors can be 10 or more years

with only a 20% loss of charge capacitor. The potential capital and operating

costs should be significantly lower than the current carbon capture technologies.

The main advantage of the system is its energy efficiency. For a typical coal

fired power plant the parasitic load would be 15% of its output. This can be

compared to a 20% loss for the most commonly used adsorption based carbon

capture technologies. It is dramatically lower than that required for a pressure

swing system used in hydrogen purification. This estimate does include the

much greater energy savings of using parallel systems that can recycle the power.



Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a major greenhouse gas produced by combustion, and

removing it from flue gas and concentrating it for use or disposal is the focus of

a global effort. Spending on carbon capture technology exceeds $600 million per

year, with a projected growth rate of 6% per year. There are many other potential

applications of the technology in the area of natural gas purification, oxygen

enrichment for breathing air, CO2 enriched gas that promotes growth for

green-houses, and purifying hydrogen gas streams.






Kai Landskron

For Information, Contact:
Thomas Meischeid
Interim Director
Lehigh University
Kai Landskron