ExxonMobil and Mosaic Materials collaborate to reduce CO2 emissions

Article by Amanda Jasi

EXXONMOBIL and separations technology company Mosaic Materials have agreed to explore the advancement of “breakthrough” technology that can remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from emissions sources.

Mosaic has progressed research on a unique process that uses porous solids, known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), to separate CO2 from air or flue gas. According to CEO and Co-Founder Thomas McDonald, the company’s proprietary technology can separate CO2 from “nearly any gas mixture using moderate temperature and pressure changes, substantially increasing energy efficiency and decreasing costs”.

The agreement will allow further discussions to evaluate opportunities for industrial uses of the technology at scale.

The agreement is part of Mosaic’s commitment to accelerate the impact of its innovative, low-cost technology. This is the company’s latest direct engagement with companies across a range of industries to demonstrate the cost reduction and environmental benefits of its technologies.

For Exxon, the recent agreement builds on an extensive portfolio – in collaboration with start-ups, academia, and governments – to develop next-generation technologies to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Exxon’s carbon capture research portfolio is evaluating multiple pathways – including carbonate fuel cells and direct air capture – to reduce costs and enable large-scale deployment.  In May, the company announced a ten-year and up to US$100m agreement to research and develop lower emissions technologies with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Vijay Swarup, Vice President of Research and Development at Exxon, said: “Adding Mosaic’s approach will allow us to build on their work to evaluate the potential for this technology to have a meaningful impact in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

Furthermore, Exxon has a working interest in about one-fifth of the world’s total carbon capture capacity. The company has captured about 7m t/y of CO2 and since 1970 it has cumulatively captured more CO2 than any other company.

MOFs are a class of highly crystalline solids which function as ultrahigh capacity sponges for gases. The materials can be designed to selectively capture specific gases from complex mixtures, and can outperform other gas separation technologies, including distillation and absorption.

Mosaic is developing new technology to “dramatically” reduce CO2 separation costs. The technology produces highly selective MOFs that require significantly less energy than competing technologies. The company is also developing MOF technology to replace the energy-intensive processes currently used to separate the raw materials for plastics, such as ethylene and propylene, from natural gas.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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