“Methane has a greenhouse effect 21 times greater than carbon dioxide, yet we often forget the danger it represents. However, if you separate the two gases, they both have an added value we can take advantage of.”
Cristina Sáenz de Pipaón is the co-founder and CEO of Orchestra Scientific, a company that is developing metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) capable of separating carbon dioxide from other gases and trapping it.
Sáenz de Pipaón began her career studying physics and optics at the University of Zaragoza and earned a PhD from the Aragón Materials Science Institute. A 1-year stint at a now-defunct company that aimed to scale up production of graphene and a 4-year postdoc at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) added to her strong scientific background. Orchestra spun out in 2017 from the work she was doing in José Ramón Galán-Mascarós’s group at ICIQ.
The technology incorporates the blue MOF into thin plastic layers that, rolled up, can be introduced in gas pipes and reactors. When gas mixtures circulate through these rolls, CO₂ molecules are slowed down and separated from the mixture, which is particularly useful for biogas refinery.
Orchestra Scientific was founded with the aim to transfer technological knowledge from research centers to industry, returning to society the investment made in science.