Electrochemically-Mediated Amine Regeneration in CO2 Scrubbing Processes


Schematic diagram of electrochemical CO<sub>2</sub> scrubbing process
Schematic diagram of electrochemical CO2 scrubbing process
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Website:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Award Number:  FE0026489
Project Duration:  08/01/2017 – 07/31/2020
Total Award Value:  $1,512,655
DOE Share:  $1,202,054
Performer Share:  $310,601
Technology Area:  Post-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Solvents
Location:  Cambridge, Massachusetts

Project Description

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is advancing a novel, electrically driven carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology. The technology utilizes cost-effective reduction/oxidation responsive materials and metal ions to electrochemically enable the capture and release of CO2 by traditional amine solvents. The regeneration process eliminates the need for steam, significantly reducing the cost of retrofit to existing power stations. This technology was previously developed from concept to a proof-of-concept lab-scale device, validating the feasibility and potential of this innovative low-energy approach. In this project, researchers will further optimize the performance of the technology through screening, modeling, and experimental testing of various metals and candidate CO2 solvents. Process models will be developed to evaluate different process configurations, particularly the effect of high-pressure operation in the desorber, and to establish cost estimates for the electrochemical technology, enabling direct comparison with competing technologies. Optimization of electrode materials and configurations, electrochemical cell architectures, and flow channel designs will be completed through modeling and testing. A lab-scale apparatus for testing the most promising candidate solvent/metal chemistries, as well as optimized cell designs, will be constructed. Testing will be performed under realistic conditions of temperature, pressure, and flow rates to evaluate performance and iteratively improve the cell design.

Project Benefits

Amine scrubbing with electrochemically-mediated amine regeneration offers a combination of fast kinetics, low parasitic energy requirements, and process flexibility. An initial techno-economic analysis indicates that the electrochemically mediated capture technology has a significant economic advantage over state-of-the-art thermal amine processes, cutting capture costs by 30 to 60 percent. This project will progress the technology on the developmental pathway toward commercialization.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Bruce Lani: bruce.lani@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett: lynn.brickett@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Trevor A. Hatton: tahatton@mit.edu

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