An Advanced Catalytic Solvent for Lower Cost Post-combustion CO2 Capture in a Coal-fired Power Plant

  • Liu, Kunlei (PI)
  • Landon, James (CoI)
  • Lippert, Cameron (CoI)
  • Liu, Kun (Former CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


In the research program, the UKy-CAER team proposes a two-fold approach to reducing CO2 capture process cost including reducing process capital and energy of regeneration. The approach consists of a catalyzed solvent for enhanced scrubber mass transfer and reduced scrubber size coupled with higher thermal stability proprietary amine solvent blend that reduces the overall heat of regeneration through thermal compression. Implementation of the CAER membrane based rich solution dewatering technology increases solution CO2 concentration to further reduce stripper energy requirements. The first key step being proposed is the utilization of homogeneous catalyst for enhanced scrubber kinetics. This approach uses small molecule organometallic mimics of the enzyme Carbonic Anhydrase to convert CO2 into bicarbonate. The catalyst is water soluble and water and air stable. The catalytic process has been shown to increase mass transfer rates 15-40% over the amine alone in a variety of CO2 capture solvents. The second aspect of the process is the high thermal stability advanced CAER-B3 solvent that is 50-70% better than reference MEA. The third aspect of the approach is the integration of a membrane dewatering process that preferentially permeates water from the CO2 rich amine solution from the bottom of the absorber tower. The higher CO2 concentration rich process solution is then sent to the stripper while the water rich permeate is sent back to the absorber. Process simulation shows that a 20% reduction in water content in the capture solution can reduce the overall process energy by 10%. Through the collaborative effort, the goals of this investigation are to demonstrate the following using an integrated 0.1 MWth coal-derived flue gas bench-scale CO2 capture unit: 1) A minimized regeneration energy for the CAER advanced catalytic solvent with membrane dewatering; 2) That enhanced mass transfer from the catalytic solvent can yield a significantly richer CO2 capture solution loading; 3) That the thermal stability of the CAER solvent will permit thermal compression (higher stripper temperature) at comparable degradation to a reference MEA solvent and the ; 4) A higher concentration rich solution from dewatering and commensurate reduced regeneration energy; 5) Long term stability of the solvent and catalyst with exposure to coal-derived flue gas contaminants; 6) A techno-economic analysis at the 550 MW scale for the system tested here integrated to the CAER process technology to show substantial progress towards DOE’s goals of a 90% CO2 capture rate with 95% CO2 purity at a cost of $40/tonne of CO2 captured by 2025 and a cost of
Effective start/end date10/1/134/30/17


  • Department of Energy: $2,966,957.00


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