Why is this research needed?
The ambitious target of net zero-carbon emissions by 2050, agreed by the UK and other countries, has now made carbon capture and storage a necessity. Therefore, new methods to capture carbon dioxide are indeed needed to tackle the climate change crisis.
What is this research investigating?
This project investigates a cryogenic carbon capture method that does not require chemicals, is capable of high CO2 removal levels and delivers a high purity CO2, which could be further used in the food industry or to produce chemicals. The cryogenic process involves very low temperatures (around -100C or below) that cause CO2 to freeze on the surface of beads previously chilled.
Crystal growth (or nucleation) and frost growth research has focused on water in moist air or in refrigeration cycles. Thus, there is a lack of fundamental research regarding CO2 deposition on a cold surface. Therefore, this work will employ for the first time an imaging technique, Electrical Capacitance Tomography (ECT), which enables better understanding of the behaviour of CO2 frost in a mixture of gases during controlled experiments in a packed column. A cold packed bed will be used as a heat transfer medium and frost capture surface. This work will identify the operating conditions that influence the efficiency of CO2 removal, such as the effects of initial bed temperature and CO2 concentration in the flue gas.
What does the research hope to achieve?
Key findings will be used to support a further larger project proposal for an advanced arrangement using a moving bed for continuous operation of the frosting/defrosting process.