Feasibility study for a new gas separation process, with application to carbon dioxide capture

There is currently huge interest in carbon capture and sequestration as a means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and hence combating climate change. Unfortunately, current methods for achieving this are considered uneconomic because they require massive absorption plant, with the ensuing capital and operating costs, and because of the high cost of regenerating the chemical absorbents used. Moreover, many of the chemical absorbents used, such as MEA (monoethanolamine), are very corrosive and toxic and have their own significant environmental consequences. So, technologies that can dramatically reduce the costs of carbon capture whilst avoiding the use of harsh chemicals are urgently needed.This proposal will investigate a novel idea in absorption process technology that could initiate a major step forward in reducing CO2 emissions. The aim of the work proposed here is to investigate the feasibility of this novel absorption process in the context of carbon dioxide capture. A coordinated programme of theory and experiment will be used to tackle this problem. Molecular theory and simulation studies will be used to gain insight into the novel absorption process. This insight will be used to inform bench-top experiimental studies, which will aim to test a variety of systems and demonstrate feasibility, as well as provide data for an energy model.If the process is feasible it might allow absorption plant to be much smaller and use ore benign absorbent checmicals. If ultimately it is found to be efficient then it could make a significant contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions.