Bench-Scale Development of a Hybrid Membrane-Absorption CO2 Capture Process


Hybrid process options
Hybrid process options
Membrane Technology and Research Inc.
Website:  Membrane Technology & Research Inc.
Award Number:  FE0013118
Project Duration:  10/01/2013 – 05/31/2018
Total Award Value:  $3,949,567
DOE Share:  $3,159,653
Performer Share:  $789,914
Technology Area:  Post-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Membranes
Location:  Newark, California

Project Description

Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (MTR) and The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) will construct and evaluate a hybrid membrane-absorption process system for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants. The system will combine Polaris™ membranes (high-permeance, low pressure-drop, plate-and-frame modules) developed by MTR, and an improved amine solvent-based capture system developed by UT-Austin that uses a piperazine solvent and advanced high-temperature and high-pressure regeneration (high thermal stability, rapid CO2 absorption rate, and low oxidative degradation). In this project, a process simulation model will be developed for the hybrid process and both series and parallel configurations of the hybrid process will be evaluated. Large-area, plate-and-frame membrane modules will be fabricated and tested to analyze pressure drop performance and permeance. Parametric tests will be performed separately on MTR’s membrane test unit and on UT-Austin’s absorption/stripper system under a full range of operating conditions for both series and parallel designs. These test results will be incorporated into the hybrid process model to determine the optimal mode of operation of an integrated membrane-absorption system. Integrated testing with MTR’s membrane test skid will performed on the hybrid capture system at UT-Austin’s Separations Research Program (SRP) 0.1 MWe pilot plant. Process models will be updated based on the pilot test results and a scaled-up model as well as a final techno-economic analysis for a full-size power plant will be developed.

Predecessor Project: DE-FE0005795

Project Benefits

The project will provide important insights into hybrid post-combustion CO2 capture systems. While each underlying capture system has benefited from previous NETL-sponsored research, the integration of the two offers a new opportunity to explore further reductions in the cost of capture. The benefits of this hybrid process include the pre-concentration of the CO2 feed to the absorber at a minimal energy cost, 30 percent
lower reboiler energy, and reduced capital expense of the absorber/stripper that is sufficient to cover the added cost of the membrane unit. The results of this project will be used to prepare the hybrid membrane-absorption system for future design and testing at increased scale.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Isaac Aurelio:
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett:
Principal Investigator 
Brice Freeman:

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