Project

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Study of adsorption-based carbon dioxide capture and storage systems under wet conditions

English title Study of adsorption-based carbon dioxide capture and storage systems under wet conditions
Applicant Mazzotti Marco
Number 130186
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Verfahrenstechnik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Chemical Engineering
Start/End 01.04.2010 - 28.02.2014
Approved amount 300'128.00
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Keywords (9)

carbon dioxide capture and storage; adsorption; water vapor; temperature swing adsorption; pressure swing adsorption; enhanced coal bed methane recovery; moisture; water; carbon dioxide

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
In order to be able to sustainably use fossil fuels as an energy source, various techniques are being considered to capture the carbon dioxide produced in combustion and sequester it or otherwise prevent it from being released into the atmosphere. Several of these techniques involve the adsorption of gases, especially CO2, to adsorbent solid materials, either as a means of separating gases from each other, or as a storage mechanism (e.g. in coal seams). In all cases of interest, moisture is present, affecting the adsorption of gases in ways that are not fully understood yet. This project will study the interaction of CO2 and the other gases involved (nitrogen, hydrogen, methane depending on the specific application) with different adsorbents in the presence of water. Adsorption plays a role in the capture of carbon dioxide as a technique to separate the greenhouse gas from other gases. This can be done in pre-combustion capture, where the CO2 has to be separated from hydrogen, usually by pressure swing adsorption (PSA) on activated carbon or zeolites; or it can be done by post-combustion capture, where the CO2 is separated from the rest of the flue gas, mainly nitrogen. This is typically done by temperature swing adsorption (TSA) on activated carbon. Another application involves adsorption as a way of extracting carbon dioxide directly from ambient air In the area of carbon dioxide storage, adsorption is significant when the carbon dioxide is to be used for enhanced coal bed methane recovery (ECBM). In this application, CO2 is injected into coal seams as a displacer for methane adsorbed into the pores in the coal. This is an attractive option to store CO2, as it enhances methane production at the same time. The capacity of coal for carbon dioxide has consistently been higher for carbon dioxide than for methane, leading to a net storage of carbon dioxide.Both systems for CO2 capture and for storage have been the subjects of study, but the effect that water has on these systems has yet to be investigated in detail. The scientific questions that are to be addressed with this project are (1) how to characterize the role of water on CO2 adsorption, (2) how to understand and describe it, and (3) how to use this knowledge to overcome or to exploit the effect of water in order to design better separation processes.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Prediction of non-isothermal ternary gas-phase breakthrough experiments based on binary data
Marx Dorian, Joss Lisa, Casas Nathalie, Schell Johanna, Mazzotti Marco (2014), Prediction of non-isothermal ternary gas-phase breakthrough experiments based on binary data, in Adsorption, 20(2), 493-510.
Modeling water vapor adsorption/desorption cycles
Hefti Max, Mazzotti Marco (2013), Modeling water vapor adsorption/desorption cycles, in Adsorption, 20(2-3), 359-371.
Precombustion CO 2 Capture by Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA): Comparison of Laboratory PSA Experiments and Simulations
Schell Johanna, Casas Nathalie, Marx Dorian, Mazzotti Marco (2013), Precombustion CO 2 Capture by Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA): Comparison of Laboratory PSA Experiments and Simulations, in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 52, 8311-8322.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
7th Trondheim CCS conference Talk given at a conference Adsorption-based CO2 Capture under Humid Conditions: Adsorption Isotherms and Breakthrough Experiments 04.06.2013 Trondheim, Norway Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert; Hefti Max; Mazzotti Marco;
11th International Conference on the Fundamentals of Adsorption Talk given at a conference Pressure Swing Adsorption for Pre-Combustion CO2 Capture under Consideration of Impurities 19.05.2013 Baltimore, United States of America Mazzotti Marco; Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert; Hefti Max;
11th International Conference on the Fundamentals of Adsorption Poster Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of Binary CO2 and H2O Adsorption on Activated Carbon, Zeolite 13X and ZSM-5 19.05.2013 Baltimore, United States of America Mazzotti Marco; Hefti Max; Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert;
11th International Conference on the Fundamentals of Adsorption Poster Pre-Combustion CO2 Capture by PSA: Comparison of Laboratory PSA Experiments and Simulations 19.05.2013 Baltimore, United States of America Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert; Mazzotti Marco;
Jahrestreffen der Fachgruppe Adsorption Talk given at a conference Investigating the binary CO2/H2O adsorption for a CO2 Capture Process: Experiments and Modeling 14.03.2013 Bad Wildungen, Germany Hefti Max; Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert; Mazzotti Marco;
Jahrestreffen der Fachgruppe Adsorption Talk given at a conference Model-based design of cyclic adsorption processes 04.03.2013 Fulda, Germany Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert; Mazzotti Marco; Hefti Max;
11th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference Talk given at a conference The Role of Water in Adsorption-based CO2 Capture Systems 18.11.2012 Kyoto, Japan Mazzotti Marco; Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert; Hefti Max; Pini Ronny;
Direct Air Capture Summit Poster Water in Adsorption-based CO2 Capture Systems 07.03.2012 Calgary, Canada Hefti Max;
6th Trondheim CCS conference Talk given at a conference Study of adsorption-based CCS systems under wet conditions 14.06.2011 Trondheim, Norway Pini Ronny; Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert; Mazzotti Marco;
10th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference Poster Coal Characterization for ECBM recovery: Gas sorption under dry and humid conditions, and its effect on displacement dynamics 19.09.2010 Amsterdam, Netherlands Marx Dorian Gabriel Norbert; Mazzotti Marco; Pini Ronny;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
67989 Competitive adsorption and preparative chromatography at supercritical conditions 01.10.2002 Project funding (Div. I-III)
107657 Enhanced coal bed methane recovery finalized to carbon dioxide storage: study of the adsorption and swelling phenomena, and of the coal bed dynamics 01.04.2005 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

To be sustainable, fossil-fuel based energy systems require that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions be drastically reduced. This entails capturing CO2 at the power plant and storing it permanently within an integrated system called CO2 capture and storage (CCS). Important components of such systems are separation processes that may involve the adsorption (i.e. the physical binding) of CO2 to adsorbent solid materials. In all cases of practical interest moisture is present and interferes with all mechanisms involved in the adsorption of CO2 in ways that are not fully understood yet.This project aims at improving the understanding of the interaction of CO2 and the other gases involved (nitrogen, hydrogen, methane depending on the specific application) with different adsorbents in the presence of moisture. Water is reported to hinder CO2 adsorption in some cases, but to favor it in others, and the literature is not consistent. Responsible mechanisms may involve just competition between water and CO2 for the active sites of the adsorbent material or also reaction between the two species leading to carbonate formation and uptake enhancement. The fundamental scientific questions to be addressed are (1) how to characterize the role of water on CO2 adsorption, (2) how to understand and describe it, and (3) how to use this knowledge to overcome or to exploit the effect of water in order to design better separation processes.With reference to the third question, we will address four specific applications. In the first, CO2 is captured from the flue gas of a power plant (post-combustion capture) through separation from mainly nitrogen using temperature swing adsorption (TSA) on activated carbons. Secondly, in the so-called pre-combustion capture CO2 has to be separated from hydrogen (through pressure swing adsorption, PSA, on activated carbons or zeolites) after coal gasification and water gas shift and before hydrogen combustion in a gas turbine. In the third application, CO2 might be extracted from ambient air using a variety of adsorbents, including ion exchange resins, in a process where the role of varying humidity is claimed to be decisive. The last application is the use of CO2 as methane displacer in the enhanced coal bed methane recovery, i.e. an attractive option to store CO2 in deep coal seams while enhancing methane recovery at the same time. These applications are particularly challenging from both a theoretical and an experimental point of view (questions 1 and 2 above) since they cover a wide range of conditions, i.e. from low pressure (atmospheric) and low concentrations (of the order of hundreds of ppm), as in the case of CO2 capture from air, to much higher pressures (several hundreds bar) and much higher CO2 purity (more than 95\%), as in the case of CO2 storage in geological formations.The proposed project will involve a Ph.D. student and a postdoctoral researcher associate, who will co-operate tightly on all the experimental, theoretical and modeling aspects of the project and will use a variety of very effective and accurate experimental set-ups that are already available in the laboratory of the PI.
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