Techno-economics of Biomass Combustion Products in the Synthesis of Effective Low-cost Adsorbents for Carbon Capture (Flexible Funding 2021)

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BEECS) is a net-negative technology that is believed to be a promising tool in the uphill battle against climate change. However, combustion of biomass results in production of large quantities of problematic waste, Biomass Combustion Ash (BCA). Our previous work has revealed the potential for utilising this waste as the CO2 capturing media, thus facilitating in-situ decarbonisation of the power sector whilst simultaneously avoiding the “classical” pathway for such waste – landfilling. As such, biomass combustion bottom ash (BA) was used as the precursor for a carbonaceous adsorbent, whereas biomass combustion fly ash (FA) was processed to become a zeolitic sorbent.

With the promising and positive outcome of “Phase 1” of this idea, “Phase 2” had the objective of improving the performance of the waste-derived sorbents. As such, our aim was to enhance the capture capacity of the produced materials by thoroughly investigating the synthesis pathways.

And so, we did! The produced activated carbon from BA and the zeolite from FA both feature a doubled CO2 adsorption capacity compared to their respective predecessors from “Phase 1”. These results have been presented and published as part of the IEEE 2022 International Conference on Nanotechnology (Development of Nanoporosity on a Biomass Combustion Ash-derived Carbon for CO2 Adsorption and Synthesis of Nanoporous Type A and X Zeolite Mixtures from Biomass Combustion Fly Ash for Post-Combustion Carbon Capture). Furthermore, a poster created by the RA has been featured at the UKCCSRC Autumn 2022 Conference at The University of Edinburgh, receiving the best poster award!

Photo of Mike Gorbounov and Ben Petrovic standing by a banner

IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology 2022 – Mike Gorbounov, RA (left) and Ben Petrovic, RA (right)