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Approach to carbon capture
Approach to carbon capture
Carbon capture is a process by which waste carbon dioxide (CO2) released by factories and power plants is collected and stored away, in order to reduce global carbon emissions. There are two major ways of carbon capture today, one using powder-like solid materials which "stick" to CO2, and one using liquids that absorb it. Despite their potential environmental and energy benefits, current carbon capture strategies are prohibitive because of engineering demands, cost and overall energy-efficiency. Collaborating scientists from EPFL, UC Berkley and Beijing have combined carbon-capturing solids and liquids to develop a "slurry" that offers the best of both worlds: as a liquid it is relatively simple to implement on a large scale, while it maintains the lower costs and energy efficiency of a solid carbon-capturing material.
Working with scientists from Beijing and UC Berkeley, Smit is a lead author on a breakthrough carbon-capture innovation that uses a mixture of solid and liquid in solution called"slurry." The solid part of the slurry is a MOF called ZIF-8, which is suspended in a 2-methylimidazole glycol liquid mixture.
The concept of the slurry comes from an idea from one of Smit's former PhD students who is now a professor in Beijing, and it could be the key to large-scale implementation of carbon capture. "Pumping slurry is much easier than transporting a pile of baby powder," says Smit. "And we can use the same technologies for heat integration as the liquid process."
Because it combines the low cost and efficiency of nano-porous materials with the ease of a liquid-based separation process, the slurry successfully addresses these two main obstacles to the implementation of carbon capture in the real world. In addition, it shows exceptionally good separation from CO2, meaning that it doesn't require excessive amounts of energy (e.g. boiling) in order to regenerate, which increases its overall energy efficiency.
The slurry represents a new template for developing similar combinations in the future. Following their successful proof-of-concept work, the research teams are now planning to test the ZIF-8/glycol slurry in the field.
Source:- science daily(Prepared by science and technology information center)
13-10-2014 02:32 PM