Because they can remove carbon dioxide from the flue gases of coal-burning facilities such as power plants, solid materials containing amines are being extensively studied as part of potential CO2 sequestration programs designed to reduce the impact of the greenhouse gas.
But although these adsorbent materials do a good job of trapping the carbon dioxide, commonly-used techniques for separating the CO2 from the amine materials thereby regenerating them for re-use seem unlikely to be suitable for high-volume industrial applications.
Now, researchers have demonstrated a relatively simple regeneration technique that could utilize waste steam generated by many facilities that burn fossil fuels. This steam-stripping technique could produce concentrated carbon dioxide ready for sequestration in the ocean or deep-earth locations while readying the amine materials for further use.
"We have demonstrated an approach to developing a practical adsorption process for capturing carbon dioxide and then releasing it in a form suitable for sequestration," said Christopher Jones, a professor in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The research was reported online June 23, 2010 in the early view version of the journal ChemSusChem. The work was supported by New York-based Global Thermostat, LLC., a company that is developing and commercializing technology for the direct capture of carbon dioxide from the air.
Amine sorbents are often regenerated through a process that involves a change in temperature to supply the energy required to break the amine-carbon dioxide chemical bonds.
For convenience, researchers commonly remove the CO2 by heating the amine material in the presence of a flowing gas such as nitrogen or helium. That removes the carbon dioxide, but mixes it with the flowing gas regenerating the material, but leaving the CO2 mixed with nitro
|Contact: John Toon|
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News