While similar technology exists, they separate gases too slowly to be effective in power plants. The CNT isolates "moving gases up to 100 times faster than other gas separation techniques."
In addition, the same technique can be used to separate methane that is removed during coal mining. Usually other gases dilute the methane too much to make it useful, but by using a CNT membrane, the other gases can be filtered out.
With plans to commercialize CNT membranes in as little as 10 years, the dark reality of coal energy may soon improve. Now if only they can get it out of the ground without destroying half of Appalachia.
written by wendy b hall, October 05, 2007
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