Cleantech start-up Osmoses has developed groundbreaking membrane technology that may help make carbon capture more feasible and cost-efficient.
Osmoses is a new company that strives to dramatically increase the efficiency of chemical separations using its unique membrane platform technology.
This year, the company won the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition grand prize and later went on to raise $3 million in funding to continue developing and scaling up its technology for commercial use.
Much of the investment came from an MIT investment fund specifically designed to support new technology ventures and known as The Engine.
More specifically, though, what Osmoses’ tech does is it separates oxygen from various pollutants, such as CO2 and methane thanks to its highly selective molecular filters that separate molecules 100,000 times smaller than the thickness of human hair.
Molecular separations are not new to the world, and, in fact they represent some 15% of energy use worldwide. But they are also responsible for roughly 16% of the CO2 emissions every year.
And in addition to being a source of significant amounts of energy waste in the purification processes of hydrogen, methane and oxygen, they are also very costly for companies.
Osmoses offers a solution for this problem and says its technology can easily be integrated with existing energy infrastructures, which could reduce the costs of carbon capture. And essentially, it aims to solve the persisting issue of having to compromise between selectivity and permeability.
Conventional membranes generally have a hard time withstanding industrial conditions and tend to deteriorate very quickly.
Osmoses’ product, on the other hand, is very stable in such conditions, in addition to being 100 times more permeable and up to 5 times more selective than traditional alternatives.
Co-founder of the company Francesco Benedetti is confident that the need for gas separation membranes will continue to increase on a global scale and represents a $10 billion market opportunity.