Advanced Manufacturing to Enable Enhanced Processess and New Solvents for Carbon Capture


Microcapsule production scaled up by parallelization
Microcapsule production scaled up by parallelization
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
Website:  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Award Number:  FWP-FEW0194
Project Duration:  03/01/2015 – 04/30/2019
Total Award Value:  $4,489,000
DOE Share:  $4,489,000
Performer Share:  $0
Technology Area:  Post-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Novel Concepts
Location:  Livermore, California

Project Description

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Harvard University, and Carnegie Mellon University have teamed to develop processes that enhance and enable the use of advanced solvents to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants using advanced manufacturing techniques. New solvents for the capture of CO2 from coal-fired power plant flue gas pose challenges for conventional equipment due to slow kinetics, high viscosity, phase changes, corrosivity, or other issues. The team will develop processes to enhance and enable the use of these otherwise thermodynamically favorable solvents to capture CO2 using advanced manufacturing techniques to encapsulate the solvents in a permeable membrane to overcome these challenges. Candidate solvents include CO2-binding organic liquids developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, ionic liquids, and nano-metal-organic hybrids. Using a combination of first-principles calculations, computational fluid dynamics models, and bench-scale experiments, the team will identify and assess improvements to the design of industrial CO2 absorbers made possible by advanced manufacturing. A range of novel concepts for improving the efficiency of gas-liquid exchange in industrial reactors will be explored. Process configurations for the microencapsulated CO2 sorbents (MECS) will be identified by evaluating fluidized bed and fixed bed configurations using a combination of bench-scale experiments, analytical models, and numerical models. The most promising basic configuration (fluidized bed, fixed bed, or other) will be selected for further refinement. The properties of potential solvents will be measured using LLNL’s microfluidic technique for rapid characterization of solvent properties. The custom apparatus, developed previously with National Energy Technology Laboratory support, will be used to measure the CO2 absorption rate and capacity of candidate solvents. The apparatus will be extended with temperature controls to measure temperature-dependent capacity, allowing heats of reaction to be calculated, as well.

Project Benefits

By developing processes that enhance and enable the use of new solvents to capture CO2 using advanced manufacturing techniques, this project reduces the cost of carbon capture for coal-fired power plants, and supports the Carbon Capture Program’s goal of advancing the technical, economic, and environmental performance of second-generation and transformational systems and technologies for future deployment.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Isaac Aurelio:
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett:
Principal Investigator 
Joshuah Stolaroff:

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