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Lower carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fueled power plants possible with technology development

rocess captures carbon dioxide gas by dissolving it in a solution containing the chemical monoethanolamine or a related amine. The solution is then boiled to produce pure carbon dioxide.

In Rochelle’s campus laboratory, he will work to improve this approach by using a chemical additive to increase the rate of carbon dioxide absorption into the solution, and assessing the overall capture process using computer models. Actual tests of the carbon capture process will be run on a small, pilot plant at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

Rochelle is an expert on reducing industrial emissions. For these studies, he will draw upon two decades of experience developing and testing similar technology to remove hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide from natural gas.

Rochelle will share one third of the TXU funds with other colleagues in the university’s College of Engineering and in the Jackson School of Geosciences. These colleagues will help test how well the process works and evaluate an option for storing captured carbon dioxide.

For process verification, Rochelle will work with colleagues at the college’s Center for Energy and Environmental Resources at the Pickle Campus. The colleagues, part of the Separations Research Program, oversee the small, pilot plant housed alongside the center’s building.

In the college’s Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, the Joint Industry Project for Geologic CO2 Storage will investigate how carbon dioxide captured using Rochelle’s process will behave if stored underground in a high-pressure, liquid form. Sandstone formations common in Texas and some other states are already being considered nationally for this type of storage.

Colleagues at the Jackson School’s Bureau of Economic Geology will also study this storage option at the bureau’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center. They will evaluate using this liquid carbon dioxide to improve enhanced oil recovery, an approach already
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Source:University of Texas at Austin


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