CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Capture - Post-Combustion Capture

Bench Scale Development and Testing of Aerogel Sorbents for CO2 Capture

Performer: Aspen Aerogels Inc.

Project No: FE0013127

Project Description

Aspen Aerogels, along with ADA Environmental Solutions (ADA-ES) and the University of Akron, will optimize and test an innovative aerogel sorbent for post-combustion CO2 capture from coal-fired power plants. Aerogels are synthetic porous materials formed by replacing the liquid component of a gel with air while retaining the pore structure. Under a previous DOE Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project, the research team developed aerogel sorbents with very promising CO2 adsorption capacities and excellent stability over thousands of adsorption-desorption cycles. The aerogel sorbents have high surface area and porosity, unique and tailored pore size distribution, highly-stable functionality, and excellent hydrophobicity for resisting degradation from moisture and contaminants in the flue gas over long-term use.

This project will focus on scaling up and testing advanced aerogel sorbents for CO2 capture with exposure to flue gas contaminants. Aspen Aerogels will optimize the most promising aerogel formulations for maximized working capacity and robust cyclic stability in flue gas conditions. The University of Akron will develop binder formulations, pellet production methods, and post treatment technology for increased resistance to flue gas contaminants. ADA-ES will assess the performance of the powdered and pelletized sorbent formulations by analyzing sorption isotherms, selectivity to flue gas contaminants, crush strength, attrition, fluidized bed properties, and heat transfer coefficients for the adsorption/desorption process. The hydrodynamic and heat transfer properties of the pelletized sorbent will be evaluated in a bench-scale cold flow fluidized bed reactor. A techno-economic assessment of the aerogel sorbent technology for CO2 capture from coal fired power plants will be performed.

The aerogel sorbent will be optimized through engineering models and tested with simulated flue gas. The team will assess the CO2 capture process for the pelletized sorbent, including a temperature swing adsorption reaction where the aerogel is cycled between ~55 degrees Celsius (°C) and a regeneration temperature of 100–130 °C. The bench-scale evaluation will be conducted at Aspen Aerogels, ADA-ES, and the University of Akron. High level assessments will be conducted to estimate the cost of the process at larger scales.

Project Details