Why is this research needed?
Carbon capture processes rely on materials which act like a sponge, absorbing CO2 from flue gas to clean it up, which can then be regenerated to make purified CO2 for sequestration. Lots of materials have the ability to absorb CO2, but how useful they are for CO2 capture also depends on the process they are used in. Therefore, to evaluate new material, we have to be able to be able to model how they will behave in a carbon capture process. This project will construct detailed models of the applications of the new capture materials being developed in work packages A1 Materials Development and A2 Pilot Testing One and Two.
What is this research investigating?
Here we model/simulate the chemical plants that do the carbon capture. For new materials this are design models of plants that have yet to be built. The aim is to say whether proposed new processed and methods will compete against current processes.
This project at the University of Cambridge will utilise advanced modelling environments (such as gPROMS, Simulink) to develop detailed steady state (and potentially dynamic) models of the advanced technologies investigated at in research projects A1 Materials Development, A2A and A2B Pilot Testing, and AC1 BECCS and AC2 (Advanced, high-efficient cycles using GT with sCO2 or direct oxy-fired CCGT-CCS). The models will use experimental data from the University of Nottingham and Imperial College London (for example, heats of absorption/reaction, adsorption isotherms, equilibrium constants for oxygen release, rate parameters and rates of degradation). Continuous and semicontinuous batch processes (such as packed beds vs fluidised beds) will be modelled. The ultimate performance depends on the degree of heat integration at the power plant level; care will be taken to ensure that common baseline assumptions allow fair comparisons between the different capture techniques.
What does the research hope to achieve?
The models produced will be validated and used to feed back to the experimental work at Imperial College London, Cranfield University and the University of Nottingham, but will be too complex for direct use in system level models. The process models will therefore feed into the development of the reduced order models (ROMs) at The University of Sheffield in research project AC5. Our models have been used in other applications, related to carbon capture, for example in evaluating the performance of oxygen separation systems, examining the potential for carbon capture materials to be used for energy storage, pollution removal systems, e.g. for high purity gas production.