Development of a Novel Biphasic CO2 Absorption Process with Multiple Stages of Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation for Post-Combustion Carbon Capture


Diagram of the biphasic CO<sub>2</sub> absorption process
Diagram of the biphasic CO2 absorption process
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Website:  University of Illinois
Award Number:  FE0026434
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 12/31/2018
Total Award Value:  $2,501,048
DOE Share:  $1,999,996
Performer Share:  $501,052
Technology Area:  Post-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Solvents
Location:  Champaign, Illinois

Project Description

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Trimeric Corporation have teamed to develop a novel biphasic absorption process with multiple stages of liquid–liquid phase separation for post-combustion carbon dioxide (CO2) capture. The process uses a biphasic solvent that allows the formation and development of dual-liquid phases, with the absorbed CO2 concentrated in one phase. Key features of this process include: 1) a unique process configuration of multi-stage CO2 absorption and phase transition allows continual separation and removal of the CO2-enriched liquid phase, thus maintaining a low CO2 loading (i.e., rapid kinetics) and low solvent viscosity throughout CO2 absorption; 2) only the CO2-enriched liquid phase is used for CO2 desorption, thus lowering the mass flow of solvent required for regeneration; and 3) a combination of flash and CO2 stripping operations allows the high pressure of CO2 desorption to further improve the energy efficiency. A preliminary process analysis revealed this process has potential to minimize energy and reduce costs compared with the benchmark monoethanolamine approaches. The overall project goal is to show the technical advantages of the process and generate engineering and scale-up data. Laboratory- and small bench-scale absorption and desorption column testing with simulated coal-derived flue gas will be performed to evaluate the new multi- stage process concept of combined CO2 absorption and phase separation and the performance of high-pressure CO2 flash and stripping operations. The results will be used to develop an optimized process flow sheet and conduct a techno-economic study for a conceptual 550-MWe coal-fired power plant retrofitted with the technology.

Project Benefits

Validation of the biphasic absorption process at laboratory scale will position the technology for potential bench-scale testing. The process has potential to improve energy efficiency and reduce the equipment cost and footprint compared with current state-of-the-art technologies while making significant progress to meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s performance goals. Successful development of this technology could potentially create an incentive for the power generation industry to use the technology both to control CO2 emissions and to profit from the CO2 market for enhanced oil recovery or other low-cost CO2 utilization options.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrew Jones:
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett:
Principal Investigator 
Yongqi Lu:

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