Post-Combustion

Ionic Liquids
Project No.: FC26-07NT43091

 
Model of CO2 absorption by an IL.
Model of CO2 absorption by an IL. The model shows that the anions are controlling absorption in ILs. The green units represent anions and the grey units represent cations.

The University of Notre Dame is conducting the Ionic Liquids: Breakthrough Absorption Technology for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture project (FC26-07NT43091), that builds on the work of its earlier project (FG26-04NT42122), to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the feasibility of using a novel class of compounds – ionic liquids (ILs) – for the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flue gas of coal-fired power plants. Initial efforts focused on “proof-of-concept” exploration, followed by a laboratory-/bench-scale effort. ILs include a broad category of salts, typically containing an organic cation and either an inorganic or organic anion. Since ILs are physical solvents, less heat is required for regeneration compared to today’s conventional chemical solvents. Task-specific ILs that contain amine functionality are being investigated to further improve CO2 solubility.

The potential of these projects as a more economical means of CO2 capture depends upon the efficient use of ILs as CO2 absorbents in coal-fired power plants. Compared to existing amine-based technologies, these designs would reduce costs through higher CO2 loading in the circulating liquid and lower heat requirements for regeneration.

The University of Notre Dame is developing a new ionic liquid absorbent and accompanying process that enables 90 percent of the post-combustion CO2 to be removed from a coal-fired power plant. The process will achieve the 2012 capture cost target of less than a 20 percent increase in the cost of energy services according to the National Energy Technology Laboratory Carbon Capture and Sequestration Systems Analysis Guidelines.

If CO2 capture is ever to become economically feasible, improved capture processes are needed. The use of ILs as CO2 absorbents holds promise for reducing costs by developing a process with higher CO2 loading in the circulating liquid and lower heat requirements for regeneration. Both of these effects would lower process costs.

Related Papers and Publications:

Contacts:

  • For further information on this project, contact the NETL Project Manager, David Lang.
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