R&D Plan

Lab Plan Overview

Tools Required (parts, measuring devices, controls, environment, etc)

glassware set, infrared gas analyzer (working with lab), spectrometer, high specificity co2 ph test for dissolved carbon

  • Excellion™ anion membrane

  • IR gas analyzer

  • Air tight containment unit (must have a way to get power to measurement apparatus inside box

  • Low power fan (simulate different air flows)

  • 1x 1 gallon clear tank

  • 1x 5 gallon opaque tanks

  • 1x 5 gallon clear tank

  • 1x 50 gallon tank

  • custom DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) apparatus

  • Access to nano pure water

  • 1x 50mL burette

  • 1x 500mL erlenmeyer flask

  • Small (like 500mL bottle) Methyl Red indicator

  • Small (like 500mL bottle) Bromothymol Blue indicator
    Vacuum sealed container

Test Setup (description of test with diagram, schematic, etc.)

For Gaseous CO2 testing:

Set up: Airtight box with controlled atmosphere set to a standard (normalized with outdoor atmosphere of where testing location is). Have IRCO2 apparatus and fan set up with power in the box. After control measurement has been taken, re-open box, and add a membrane sample. Have IRCO2 analyzer set up to take measurements at regular intervals. Allow anion membrane sample to sit in box for 4 hours (TBD).

Stop trigger: when the CO2 in the box (as measured by IRCO2 analyzer) stops decreasing for 3 consecutive measurements. This will help us optimize the total absorption time for the membrane. Once done the next step is using different fans speed to see how absorption time changes.

For dissolved CO2 testing:

Set up: Once the membrane is saturated (as measured by the process described above), have a 5 gallon tank set with nano pure water, and DIC wand set to a baseline measurement of water in the tank. Open and add saturated membrane to the tank. Monitor DIC.

General Test Process (steps 1, 2, 3, etc to carry out test)

  • Testing process should allow for the isolation of the following variables:

    • Time to saturation of membrane

      • Rate of absorption of membrane

    • Max capture potential of a designated size membrane sample (not theoretical but experimental maximum)

    • Time of dissolution during a soak (seeking to minimize this variable)

      • Using different water baths (DI, tap, brine, runoff)

    • Time from full dissolution to full saturation (this is cycle analysis, can not be done until after 1st cycle has been completed)

    • Concentration dissolved inorganic carbon in solution (ultimate goal is to maximize this number)

    • Length of time that given concentration can be maintained

    • Degassing rate (CO2, we want to minimize this number)

  • NEXT STEPS (how do we use that carbon) - Once we have a stable CO2 concentration in a water sample:

    • We want to pre an alkaline solution as similar to irrigation water of a hydroponic system as possible.

    • In a greenhouse solution, CO2(atmo) → into membrane → dissolved CO2 → degassed (into concentrated CO2)

    • Then we want to combine this solution with our dissolved carbon solution

      • Measure pH change

    • We would then test this neutralized solution to be piped back into the source water for a given application.

Goal (time, cycles, failure criteria, when is testing done?)

  • Obtain the highest concentration of DIC in a sample in the shortest amount of time (both saturation - air → membrane - and soak - membrane → solution)

Data Collection (chart, graph, data collection, software, etc)

  • This will depend on the analyst apparatus we chose, but LabQuest will likely be the software interface.

Final Report (summary of results, data presentation, failure analysis report, lessons learned and proposed future testing)

Ideally this ends in a white paper, then peer reviewed publication with an accredited university.

Time Tests


  • The goal is to maximize carbon drawdown by utilizing the spontaneous adsorption of CO2 on an anionic exchange membrane via a repeatable moisture swing mechanism. Then utilize the byproduct of this process in sustainable ways that prevent degassing of CO2.

Tools Required

  • 3x Washed and dried 100mL ​​erlenmeyer flask

  • Sealable 1x Washed and dried 1L flask. This could be done with ground glass joints and a stopper (ask Celine on the 3rd floor stockroom of Baker for the glassware) or plastic wrap with rubber band weighted down by a watch glass)

  • Balloons

  • Rubberbands

  • Snowpure Excellion anion: I-200 membrane (provided) (pre-activated)

Test Setup

Safety: There are no high risk materials in use for these experiments but ensure that proper PPE is still used while working with anion membranes. Safely glass and gloves are required at all times. Note that the membrane itself has a rather pungent amine scent, if you have nose clips or plugs they are recommended for your comfort. You will need to cut the larger sheets of membrane into 25cm x 25cm squares and 10cm x 10cm squares as needed. Make sure to do this with cleaned and dried scissors.

Procedure (membrane saturation)

  1. Hang three 10cm x 10cm membrane squares and one 25cm x 25cm square in open air such that both sides of the square are exposed to ambient air conditions.

    1. Label each of the 10x10 squares

  2. Leave the 10x10 samples out in open air for 4, 8, and 24 hours.

  3. Leave the 25x25 sample out in open air for 24 hours.

  4. pH check on nano pure water before all tests.

Test Process

Part A- Gaseous: Time (ẟt) tests

  1. After the 4 hour place one of the 10x10 membrane samples in a 100mL

  2. Add just enough water to fully submerge the membrane. This should be no more than than a ⅓ of the total volume of the flask.

  3. Quickly place a balloon over the mouth of the flask (ensure airtight seal with rubber band).

    1. Repeat this process after 8 and 24 hours with 10x10 samples

  4. Make sure to store at 25ºC and away from sunlight.

  5. Take note of any expansion in the balloon's volume 24f hours after sealing.

    1. Take pictures

Part B- Aqueous: Concentration test

  1. After 24 hours take 25x25 sample and place in a sealable 1L flask

    1. Add 500mL of nano pure water and seal quickly

    2. Swirl gentle 3 rotations.

    3. Make sure membrane is fully submerged in water (it can be folded, just make sure it is not creased or ripped)

  2. Leave soaking for 2 hours

  3. Pipette a 5mL sample out into a sealed vial and store in a cold (fridge preferably), dark place for testing with Dr. Bockmon's group

  4. Also take a 100mL solution sample for growth test 1B

    1. Test with phenolphthalein indicator if available if not, quick litmus paper test

    2. Record

  5. After 3 hours take another 100mL sample for growth test 2B

    1. Test with phenolphthalein indicator if available if not, quick litmus paper test

    2. Record

  6. After 4 hours take another 100mL sample for growth test 3B

    1. Test with phenolphthalein indicator if available if not, quick litmus paper test

    2. Record

  7. After 3 hours take another 100mL sample for growth test 4B

    1. Test with phenolphthalein indicator if available if not, quick litmus paper test

    2. Record

  8. Pipette a second 5mL sample out into a sealed vial and store in a cold (frig preferably), dark place for testing with Dr. Bockmon's group

Clean up/reset

  1. Dispose the remaining solutions down sink with water

  2. Re-hang 25x25 nd 10x10 samples to dry

  3. Repeat Part B but a 4 hour, 6 hour, and 8 hour soak time

Data Collection

Final Report


  • Phase 0

    • Rate to saturate Excellion™ anion I-200 membrane with CO2 from ambient air

    • Rate to dissolve HCO3 from membrane into solution (NanoPure water)

    • Dissolved Inorganic Carbon concentration in soak solution sample (Via DIC - Dr. Bockmons lab)

      • Via back calculations we determined the amount of CO2 that was captured by the membrane and dissolved.

  • Phase 1

    • Acidity test (rough)

      • pH of solutions check via litmus paper before and after every soak

      • Over course of entire experiment

    • 1. Time to Saturate test: large membrane (1m x1m)

      • Both outdoor and indoor environments

    • 2. Time to Dissolve test: large membrane (1m x 1m membrane in ≥1L)

      • DIC concentration measured by Dr. Bockmon's lab group

    • Off-Gas test (rough)

      • Soak saturated membrane in a sealed flask with a balloon over the top.

        • Time/volume of off-gassed CO2 check

        • When 2 starts/simultaneous with other tests

    • 3. 1:1 Scaled DIC concentration tests

      • Repeat DIC concentration test but with larger sheets of Excellion™ anion I-200 membrane.

    • 4. Super Soaker test

      • Using soak solution from a single round of dissolution testing, soak a new saturated membrane, and check for increased DIC. Repeat this until a threshold concentration is found

    • Upon completion of steps 3 & 4,

    • Liquid to Gas Transfer test

      • Given a certain concentration of dissolved CO2 in a given constant volume of water, allow for spontaneous exchange (L<->G) with a given constant volume of air (~400ppm), how fast does CO2 off-gas. What concentration of CO2 can be attained by this process (measured by IR spec before and after exchange).

      • Show twice on Gantt chart

  • Phase 2

    • Growth of Algae tests (details to be given by Dr. Keeling)

      • Size

      • Chloroplast

        • Via photospectrometry

      • Cell count

    • Transfer process tests with hose

    • Polymer maintaining CO2 capture qualities

    • Cycles through hydronic plant

    • Off-gas in gaseous environment

    • Osmolality test

Anticipated start date of testing: October 1, 2022