- Number 324 |
- November 8, 2010
Carbon capture is subject to BIAS
Looking like microscopic pearls, less
than 800 micrometers in diameter,
NETL's award-winning basic
immobilized amine sorbents
increase the capture rate of carbon
dioxide in large-scale processes.
The sorbents can be used at fossil
fuel power plants in carbon capture
and sequestration, a key technology
in reducing carbon emissions and
mitigating climate change.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the major greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. Consequently, it is critical that CO2 emission into the earth’s atmosphere be controlled. To control CO2 emissions from power plants, a two-step process called carbon sequestration has been envisioned by DOE and the utility industry. The first of the two steps involves capturing or separating the CO2 from the coal-fired combustion stream. The costs of separating the CO2 from the flue gas are estimated to be about three-fourths of the total cost of the carbon sequestration scenario. DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has greatly reduced the cost of carbon capture with its Basic Immobilized Amine Sorbent (BIAS) Process. The BIAS Process overcomes many of the disadvantages of conventional amine-based wet scrubbing techniques by incorporating the amines onto a porous solid support. The regenerable sorbent can then be heated to drive off the CO2 and reused for many cycles. Application of this technology reduces the costs and energy associated with more conventional scrubbing processes to capture CO2 in large-scale power generation facilities.
These new solid-immobilized amine sorbents
- adsorb CO2 over a range of temperatures from 40 to 60 °C, making them ideal for removal of CO2 after flue gas desulfurization unit in a coal-burning power plant.
- have an increased capacity for CO2 capture on a weight or volume basis.
- are easily and inexpensively regenerated by heating with steam to around 105 °C.
- reduce utility costs due to higher CO2 capture capacity and low energy cycle requirements.
- reduce corrosion and mass/heat transfer problems inherent in wet scrubbing.
- are thermally stable above 100 °C with little degradation, giving them a longer life-span.
- do not require energy-intensive use of water in the CO2 capture and regeneration cycle.
To move the process from the laboratory into commercial use, NETL researchers McMahan (Mac) Gray and Henry Pennline patented various aspects of the sorbent development, and then assembled a consortium of interested collaborators that could either fabricate enough of the sorbent for large-scale tests or could help conduct large scale tests of the process. As a result, TVA has tested the technology and has proposed its use in power plants. Industrial collaborators Fuji Silysia, PQ Inc., Pressure Chemicals, and ADA-ES, are eager to commercialize the BIAS Process. Finally, discussions with NASA have led to the drafting of a MOU where the BIAS materials could potentially be used in space flight.
All of these efforts were recognized on October 7 in Richmond, VA, when the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Mid-Atlantic Region presented its annual Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer to NETL’s McMahan Gray and Henry Pennline.
[Linda Morton, 304.285.4543,