Material Science for CCS – April 2015 Cranfield Biannual

This blog was written by Hui Meng, a UKCCSRC ECR from the University of Hull, who received funding from the ECR Meeting Fund to attend the UKCCSRC Spring 2015 Biannual in Cranfield, 21-22 April

This session was chaired by Dr Niall Mac Dowell, there are four presenters to present their research about material science for CCS. 

The first speaker in this session is Dr Stuart Scott from the University of Cambridge, the topic of his presentation is ‘Thermochemical Cycles for Carbon Capture’. He presented that different types of solid materials could be used to separate oxygen from air for use in combustion processes. Metal oxide can be used to provide the oxygen to the fuel in chemical looping combustion. In some cases, the metal oxide could be also used to generate gas phase oxygen, which is released in the vicinity of the fuel. The oxygen released locally can be used to combust solid fuels more efficiently than if the fuel is only reacted with steam or CO2. The metal oxide could also be kept separate from the fuel and used in a cyclic process to produce a stream of oxygen, something which is now sometimes referred to as chemical looping air separation. 


The second speaker is Dr Kyra Campbell from Imperial College London, the presentation title is Understanding and addressing corrosion due to amine solvents in post-combustion carbon capture processes”. She presented that while absorption-desorption of gaseous CO2 in alkyl amines such as MEA is a developed technology for concentration and purification of CO2, corrosion remains a significant obstacle to the advancement of amine-based post-combustion carbon capture. To address this, a study of the corrosion on mild steel has been undertaken under reasonably thermally degrading conditions for MEA and three popular 2nd generation amine solvents. These four amines show two categorical behaviours: corrosion and passivation.

The third speaker is Dr Solomon Brown from University College London, the title of the presentation is ‘Material considerations in CO2 pipeline design: practical issues and ongoing work’. Several major factors influence the selection of pipeline materials for CO2 transportation, including the susceptibility to corrosion and the ability to resist ductile and brittle fracture propagation. In this work, the results of the crack resistance of industrial steels have been presented and experiments described which have been designed to investigate the materials behaviour during realistic release scenarios. Of those tested it is found that the X70HIC grade steel has the lowest ductile-to-brittle-transition-temperature, hence providing the most protection from brittle fracture.

The final speaker is Dr Jiafei Zhang from Imperial College London, his presentation title is ‘Influence of amine molecular structures on CO2 absorption’. He presented mainly that amine scrubbing is the most dominated commercial technology adapted for CO2 capture from fossil fuel power plant. However, significant energy consumption and irreversible solvent degradation are the major unsolved challenges for the conventional amines. It is therefore essential to screen new solvents to overcome these drawbacks. Amines with molecular structures have been studied by criteria: reactivity and regenerability, etc. The influence of amine molecule structures on the physical and chemical properties is evident. He also introduced that alkylamines with their switchable polarity; secondary amine has a high potential; tertiary amine and cyclic structure typically exhibit a good chemical and a branch at α-carbon position is favoured, these observations can help us select suitable amines or optimise solvent recipes for CO2 absorption.