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Post-combustion carbon capture - solid sorbents and membranes

AUTHOR: Robert M Davidson
DATE: January 2009

This report follows on from that on solvent scrubbing for post-combustion carbon capture from coal-fired power plants by considering the use of solid sorbents and membranes instead of solvents. First, mesoporous and microporous adsorbents are discussed: carbon-based adsorbents, zeolites, hydrotalcites and porous crystals. Attempts have been made to improve the performance of the porous adsorbent by functionalising them with nitrogen groups and specifically, amine groups to react with CO2 and thus enhance the physical adsorption properties. Dry, regenerable solid sorbents have attracted a good deal of research.

Most of the work has been on the carbonation/calcination cycle of natural limestone but there have also been studies of other calcium-based sorbents and alkali metal-based sorbents. Membranes have also been studied as potential post-combustion capture devices. Finally, techno-economic studies predicting the economic performance of solid sorbents and membranes are discussed.