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Influence of design and operating parameters for additively manufactured intensified packing devices on CO2-Absorption column...

by Dhruba Jyoti Deka, Gyoung Gug Jang, Joshua A Thompson, Amiee C Jackson, Constantinos Tsouris
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Chemical Engineering Journal
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Solvent-based CO2 absorption is technologically a matured CO2 capture pathway but suffers from: high regeneration energy demand, and solvent temperature rise and decreased capture efficiency caused by the heat of reaction. While research has focused on developing non-aqueous and low-aqueous solvents for decreasing the regeneration energy, the temperature bulge due to exothermic absorption is typically dealt with by cooling the solvent with an external inter-stage heat-exchanger. This approach may increase the overall process footprint, as well as capital and operating costs. The current study explores a process intensification approach by incorporating inside the column an additively manufactured intensified packing device that consists of corrugated plates and internal coolant channels. The corrugated plates provide surface area for mass transfer between gas and liquid, while cooling fluid inside the internal channels removes heat from the exothermic reactive system. Two different intensified devices with specific surface areas of 266 m2/m3 and 359 m2/m3 were designed, manufactured, and tested inside a 2.06-m long and 0.203-m diameter column packed with commercial Mellapak 250Y packing. The device with a lower surface area showed up to 27 % reduction in cooling performance. A steady-state heat transfer model provides good agreement with the experimental column temperature and intra-stage heat removal data. Although a decrease in heat transfer performance was observed for the device with lower surface area, CO2 capture experiments performed with simulated flue gas and low-aqueous solvent demonstrated that both intensified devices lead to a similar improvement of 12 % in capture efficiency. This study provides an understanding on simplifying the intensified packing device geometry and decreasing the device fabrication cost by 25 % without compromising with the CO2 absorption performance of the packed column.