Putting ionic liquids and CO2 to work in upgrading low-temperature heat sources
By Chemical Engineering |
BASF Corp. (Florham Park, N.J.; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6899-536) and CogniTek Management Systems, Inc. (Northfield, Ill.; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6899-537) have signed a cooperative agreement to study the combined use of supercritical (SC) CO2 and ionic liquids (Ils) as a potentially efficient way to utilize low-temperature heat sources for power generation. The idea is to employ the unique properties of SC CO2 and Ils to transform low-quality heat, such as solar, geothermal, combustion-waste heat and bottom cycling of existing power plants, into high-value power generation. The result would be a combined power-generation system with integral heating and cooling coproducts capable of saving substantial amounts of energy.
With virtually no vapor pressure, Ils are the perfect partner for SC CO2 as the working fluid for high-efficiency heat transfer, says BASF. ReXorce Thermionics (Akron, Ohio), a spinoff of CogniTek, is commercializing the Thermafficient thermal engine, which is based on an absorption heat pump developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; Glenn Research Center) and exclusively licensed to CogniTek. The Thermafficient engine is derived from the so-called champagne heat pump (flowsheet), which…