Today at Berkeley Lab

New Material Cuts Energy Costs of Separating Gas for Plastics and Fuels

A new type of hybrid material developed at UC Berkeley could help oil and chemical companies save energy and money — and lower their environmental impacts — by eliminating an energy-intensive gas-separation process. To separate hydrocarbon gas mixtures into the pure chemicals needed to make plastics, refineries “crack” crude oil at high temperatures, then chill the gaseous mixture to 100 degrees below zero Celsius. “Cryogenic distillation at low temperatures and high pressures is among the most energy-intensive separations carried out at large scale in the chemical industry, and an environmental problem because of its contributions to global climate change,” said professor and Berkeley Lab researcher Jeffrey Long. More>

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