UKCCSRC Knowledge Exchange Conference – Parallel 1a: Capture (ECR Meeting Fund)

Billy Davies and Mike Gorbounov (both from Brunel University London) shares their takeaways from “Parallel 1a: Capture” at the UKCCSRC Knowledge Exchange Conference 2023.

Researchers like Leila Moura, Chunfei Wu and Hyungwoong Ahn are making significant strides in the development of CO2 capture technologies. These innovative approaches aim to address critical challenges related to energy efficiency, process optimisation and environmental sustainability. In this blog post, we delve into their ground-breaking work and explore the potential impact of their research on various industries.

First, Dr Leila Moura discussed her work on developing headspace gas chromatography (HS-GC), which ensures accurate and time-efficient screening. Gas separation is an inherent part of CCS. She described high-throughput screening methods developed for liquid and solid sorbents based on their gas uptake.

The key challenge in gas separation is achieving optimal uptake capacity while minimising the time required for the process. This involves measuring solubility and uptake capacity accurately, which often requires specialised equipment. Dr Moura’s research provides a versatile solution that can be applied to both adsorption and absorption processes. Her results consistently fall within the range published in the literature, demonstrating the reliability of this methodology. However, this process still faces limitations, such as equilibration time, absorption kinetics and the need for precise temperature control. Despite these challenges, the simplicity and efficiency of her method make it a promising tool in gas separation studies.

Next up was Dr Chunfei Wu discussing his work on CaO-Based Materials for Efficient CO2 Capture and Utilisation. This work addresses several challenges associated with traditional CO2 capture methods. Conventional CO2 capture technologies (such as amine scrubbing) often require high energy input and suffer from sorbent degradation and high-temperature requirements. Dr Wu proposes an innovative approach called Integrated carbon capture and utilisation (ICCU), which combines CO2 capture and utilisation in a single reactor, eliminating additional energy requirements and reducing corrosion issues.

To achieve this, dual-functionalised materials are crucial, allowing for efficient CO2 capture and subsequent utilisation. Key challenges within this research are the mixing of sorbent and catalyst, the integration of a reducing agent (such as H2 or CH4) as well as the obstacle of long reaction times.

Dr Wu also explores chemical looping combustion as an alternative method for CCU. The use of marble stone in ICCU-RWGS (Integrated CCU with Reverse Water Gas Shift) shows high capacity and cyclic stability, thus, offering another avenue for sustainable CO2 management.

Finally, Dr Hyungwoong Ahn’s presented his work on PSA-SPUR, an advanced adsorption process for heavy component recovery (CO2 in the case of post-combustion CCS) and its application in carbon capture on-board ships.

One significant benefit of the PSA-SPUR configuration is lower power consumption compared to the conventional amine scrubbing method. Particularly effective for high concentrations of CO2, the approach proposed by Dr Anh doesn’t require low desorption pressures and can achieve purities exceeding 99%. As we strive to reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainability, innovations like PSA-SPUR play a crucial role in achieving these goals.

The presentations not only provided insight to researchers within the field but also to other key stakeholders outlining the recent technological advancements facilitating large-scale deployment of CCS.