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This CO2-capture process promises to have half the energy cost of MEA

By Chemical Engineering |

Both carbon dioxide and sulfur components are removed from fluegas in a reversible process being developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL, Richland, Wash.; http://www.pnl.gov). The process uses a solvent that combines liquid organic bases (amidine and guanidine) and alcohols to absorb CO2 and sulfur compounds as ionic liquid alkylcarbonates, says David Heldebrant, lead research scientist for the project. The pollutants are stripped for disposal by heating the solvent to less than 140°C, then the solvent is recycled. Heldebrant says the solvent has a gravimetric capacity of 19 wt.% for CO2, compared to 7 wt.% for a monoethanolamine (MEA) solution, the conventional absorbent for CO2. This is because MEA must be used in an aqueous solution, with a concentration limited to about 30% to avoid corrosion problems. In contrast, the organic solvent uses alcohol in place of water, so Heldebrant says the energy cost for stripping promises to be half that of an MEA system. So far, the process has been tested in the laboratory. PNNL plans to scale up to 100 mL to do process design, then to the 1-L scale for tests on boiler fluegas.   Click here for a full pdf version of the Chementator Section
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