SK Innovation and SK IE Technology announced on May 8 they will invest an undisclosed amount in Airrane, a Korean company that specializes in membrane technology for gas separation, including for the purpose of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).
SK IE Technology is a subsidiary firm of SK Innovation, which manufactures lithium-ion battery separators for electric vehicles.
Airrane, which was founded in 2001, has worked with equipment manufacturers globally, including US Air Products, Asahi Glass Engineering, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. SK Innovation and SK IE Technology will use the Korean company’s membrane technology for the separation of gases such as CO2 and hydrogen with high purity.
SK Innovation and SK IE Technology said they plan to combine the gas-separating technology with their lithium-ion battery separators manufacturing technology to become a leader in the development of CCUS technology.
According to the SK companies, Airrane’s technology can offer an alternative solution to overcome the limitations of the current CCUS technology that uses liquefied or solid absorbents.
The gas-separating membrane technology needs small surfaces and creates g zero waste because it does not use water or chemicals to separate the CO2.
According to Allied Market Research, the global CCUS market is projected to reach $7 billion by the end of the decade.
“On top of the membrane capture technology (…), we are going to expand our CCUS competitiveness in the global market based on the capabilities of SK Innovation’s other subsidiaries such as SK Energy’s utilization technology and SK Earthon’s storage technology,” said Kang Dong-soo, head of SK Innovation’s portfolio divisional group.