Separation and capture of CO₂ from industrial flue gas mixtures - WP1
Although zero emissions CO2 is a desirable goal, there are many sources that are unavoidable, such as industrial processes that produce CO2, not from heat or power generation, but as a side product.
Carbon Capture and Usage (CCU) is the process of capturing CO2 to be recycled for further usage, and it offers a response to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from these major stationary (industrial) emitters. Unfortunately, in order to use typical anthropogenic sources, it is necessary to concentrate or separate the CO2 from the other gases (N2, H2O, and others) present in flue gas.
The cost of individual CCU, or Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), projects can vary substantially depending on the source of the CO2 to be captured, the distance of the emission source to the site of utilisation or storage. At present, the cost of capturing the CO2 is typically the greatest cost of a CCUS project and is dependent on the concentration of CO2 in the sources gas: the lower the concentration the more costly.
There are generally two classes of material employed for CO2 separation: reactants and adsorbents. WP1 is focussed on adsorbents and the development of high efficiency adsorbents and a cost effective pressure swing adsorption (PSA) process for post-combustion CO2 capture from industrial plants.
Materials for CO2 capture will be engineered and developed during the RICE project to separate CO2 from complex industrial flue gasses. To this end, large bench-scale syntheses of CO2 sorbent materials will be addressed in terms of scalability, transferability of performance from test tube to reactor, and use of green chemistry where compatible and feasible.
In parallel, a pilot scale demonstration processes for CO2 separation is being constructed including pressure and/or temperature swing absorption. The development of a flexible at scale unit will allow industry to create bespoke solutions to a wide range of sources gas mixtures. Thus, specific adsorbent/process combinations will be developed for the RICE industrial partners to provide the techno-economic evaluation that will allow effective decision making on future CCU and CCS projects.
The scale of the proposed CO2 adsorption/separation system will be only a fraction of the carbon emissions from the largest source; however, it is of the correct scale sufficient for the types of Welsh businesses to realistically use and invest in.
We are looking for additional industry partners to create bespoke solution and academic and SME with new adsorbents that can be tested under real-world conditions.
Work package 1 is led by Dr Enrico Andreoli