To drive down the cost of CO2 capture, it is essential to develop more cost-effective technologies than amine scrubbing, which has been adopted from the oil and gas industry. One such technology is solid adsorbents for CO2 capture at power plants and from various industrial processes. The University of Nottingham has an international reputation for developing adsorbents based on activated carbon and strongly basic polyethyleneimine for these applications, research that has involved international partners in China and Korea. A pilot-scale facility for testing these new adsorbents using quantities of several kilograms is being built with £0,5M funding from Innovate UK as part of the Energy Research Accelerator across the Midlands universities. This continuous facility comprises a circulating fluidised bed for adsorption and a bubbling one for desorption of CO2 and it will address the key issues concerning scale-up, including the thermal and mechanical stability and moisture sensitivity of the new adsorbents under real process conditions.
University of Nottingham has an international reputation for developing modified activated carbon and strongly basic polyethyleneimine (PEI)–based adsorbents for low temperature PCC including extensive collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) resulting in > 20 publications, five with more than 100 citations. A pilot-scale facility for low temperature solids adsorbent looping technology (SALT) will be built with £1M funding from G-ERA (Geo-Energy Research Accelerator led by NU, BEIS award of £20M.) This continuous facility includes a circulating fluidised bed for adsorption and a bubbling one for desorption, extensive instrumentation and allows for optimisation of heat integration. It addresses thermal and mechanical stability, and moisture sensitivity. This project allows additional materials to be prepared and tested, notably KOH-treated carbon beads, developed in partnership with CAS. These potentially give better performance than silica-PEI for PCC for coal-fired plant and other situations where the CO2 partial pressure is about or greater than 0.15 bar, due to their relatively high adsorption capacities linked to the low heat of adsorption. The Facility will be offered for use within the UKCCSRC community (including potential sorbents from WP A1).
Colin Snape and Hao Liu