Green ammonia derived membranes & sorbents for direct air capture of carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) induced global warming is an existential threat, prompting efforts to reduce net emissions of this greenhouse gas (GHG) to zero. But as CO2 levels are already dangerously high, removal of CO2 remains necessary even once the net-zero target is achieved. In this pursuit, direct air capture (DAC) and storage of CO2 represent a powerful strategy, but there are technical and practical challenges to overcome in this area.

The technical challenges are development of more efficient i) filters (membranes) that separate CO2 from other gases, and ii) chemical sponges (sorbents) to soak up CO2 out of the air. The practical challenges are cost and availability of raw materials, availability of land for setting up DAC facilities, and CO2 storage capacity. We will tackle the technical challenge by exploring a new chemical concept for designing highly efficient CO2 membrane/sorbent materials from inexpensive, locally-sourced, green ammonia that will be renewably-generated in NS.


  1. Developing the efficient synthesis of value-added, ammonia-derived, nitrogen-rich, molecular building-blocks that can be interconnected to make materials.
  2. Making a library of membrane/sorbent materials using these building-blocks.
  3. Optimizing the CO2 separation/capture ability of these DAC-relevant materials.
  4. Studying end-of-life degradation and applications of the materials.
  5. Developing intellectual property within Nova Scotia and disseminating our results in preparation for future scale-up and commercialization.

Key outcome:

Made-in-Nova Scotia technology that leverages our forthcoming access to local green ammonia to generate globally valued IP for climate action. Together with our high average windspeeds and undersea storage reservoirs, this project also contributes to an ambitious, longer-term vision of Nova Scotia having its first cradle-to-grave CO2 DAC program.


Principal Investigator: S. Chitnis Saurabh, Dalhousie University
Partners: Prof. Michael Katz, Memorial University; Prof. Gurpreet Selopal, Dalhousie University, Agricultural Campus

September 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024