Adrianna Nogalska


The climate change caused by the increased CO2 content in the atmosphere is raising a lot of concern nowadays. The constant need for sustainable green energy generation inspired us to develop an artificial photosynthetic system. The system works as a leaf, where CO2 is captured directly from air through the membrane pores and passes to the next compartments to be finally converted to methanol or other hydrocarbons and to be further used as fuel in fuel cells.
The main scope of the work is to reveal the influence of polysulfone -based membrane contactors on atmospheric CO2 capture rate by chemical sorption into absorbent aqueous solutions. Flat sheet membranes that vary in morphology were prepared by immersion precipitation and undergo internal morphology and surface characterization. The polysulfone membrane was modified with a number of additives known for the CO2 affinity such as: ferrite nenoparticles, activated carbon and enzymes. Moreover, the compatibility between membranes and absorbent solution was evaluated in terms of swelling and contact angle measurements. Additionally, preliminary studies concerning the captured CO2 conversion to fuels were performed with use of electro-reductive unit.
Studies showed that the polysulfone based system has superior CO2 assimilation compared to a leaf performance. Moreover, the best results were obtained using blank and unmodified membrane, providing a low production cost. Furthermore, the conversion of bicarbonate to formic acid was achieved, giving a promising start to be improved in future work.