Low-Cost Carbon Capture Technologies Investigated in Recent Paper

More affordable carbon capture technologies may be on the horizon, according to a recently published article in Chemical Engineering Research and Design. The article presents NETL’s design and development of a test unit that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) using amine-based solid sorbents rather than traditional liquid solvents.

Solid sorbents have the major benefit of reduced cost over liquid solvent counterparts—a feature that could help put more of these CO2 scrubbing systems into more coal-fired power plants.

As described in the paper, a test unit was built that employed fluidized bed technology, in which a solid and fluid mixture can be made to behave like a fluid that facilitates an effective flow. NETL researchers aimed to use this technology, along with specially engineered reactor components, to enable the solid sorbent to efficiently adsorb CO2 from simulated flue gas and then be successfully transported to the regenerator.

Maintaining constant circulation of the solid sorbent was a major obstacle during experimentation, but a series of modifications to the system design solved this challenge. As a result, NETL researchers succeeded in increasing CO2 adsorption while maintaining sorbent regeneration. This study provided an in-depth characterization of the amine-based solid sorbents and defined the critical parameters necessary to demonstrate their increased performance, opening the door to more research on this promising low-cost alternative to liquid solvents.

The article, “Carbon capture test unit design and development using amine-based solid sorbent,” was written by NETL researchers Ron Breault, James Spenik, Larry Shadle, James Hoffman, McMahan Gray, Rupen Panday, and ORISE intern, Richard Stehle.