Toray Industries has announced that it has created the world’s first porous carbon fibre with a nano-sized continuous pore structure to enhance the performance of advanced gas separation membranes.
The fibre can be used as a support layer to make advanced membranes used in greenhouse gas separation and hydrogen production lighter and more compact. Traditional methods of gas separation result in heavy carbon dioxide emissions, so new methods employing membranes have attracted considerable attention, although, as yet, no membranes have combined satisfactory gas separation performance and durability.
Toray’s new material is chemically stable because it is made of carbon and offers high levels of gas permeability. The material employs thin, flexible fibres, so when it is used to support gas membranes a module can contain many fibres and so be compact and light. Such support makes it possible to combine a range of gas separation layers.
Toray created its new material by combining its polymer technology with its carbon fibre technologies, water treatment and other separation membrane technologies. This enabled the company to create a porous carbon fibre with uniformly continuous pores and carbon.