A team of chemical engineers at MIT have come up with a way to continuously remove carbon dioxide from a stream of gas, it could even be applied to the air we breathe. In their work, the key component is a membrane that can be switched on and off by electrochemical assistance. There are no moving parts involved in the process and it uses relatively little energy.

The membranes are made of anodized aluminum oxide, they are hexagonal — like a honeycomb — and allow gas molecules to permeate in and out when open. Their work is published in the latest issue of Science Advances journal.

While it has a possible application on the ambient air around us, this "gas gating" technique could also be applied to industrial exhaust systems too.

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