Reducing CO2: Research Shows Chemical and Economic Feasibility for Capturing Carbon Dioxide Directly from Air
(Georgia Tech University) With a series of papers published in chemistry and chemical engineering journals, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have advanced the case for extracting carbon dioxide directly from the air using newly-developed adsorbent materials.
The technique might initially be used to supply carbon dioxide for such industrial applications as fuel production from algae or enhanced oil recovery. But the method could later be used to supplement the capture of CO2 from power plant flue gases as part of efforts to reduce concentrations of the atmospheric warming chemical.
In a detailed economic feasibility study, the researchers projected that a CO2 removal unit the size of an ocean shipping container could extract approximately a thousand tons of the gas per year with operating costs of approximately $100 per ton. The researchers also reported on advances in adsorbent materials for selectively capturing carbon dioxide.
…Among their recent papers on direct capture of CO2 from the air are:
- A Journal of the American Chemical Society paper that described the role of zirconium in producing more efficient amine-based adsorbents. “Past work has focused on maximizing the amount of CO2 captured per gram of adsorbent by adding ever-increasing amounts of amines,” Jones explained. “We are the first to show that an alternate strategy is to change the oxide support that the amines lay on, and for a fixed amount of amine, each amine works more efficiently.”
- A paper published in ChemSusChem describing the role played by primary, secondary and tertiary amines in capturing carbon dioxide from ultra-dilute gases like air. “We showed conclusively that primary amines are responsible for CO2 capture from the air, that secondary amines work to some degree, and that tertiary amines don’t absorb from air in any appreciable amount,” Jones said.
- A paper in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research that describes detailed cost estimates for the air capture process.