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New Carbon Dioxide Capture Technology Radically Cuts Energy Use

Monday, March 7, 2011

A new technology is being developed using an amines-based absorbent called hyperbranched aminosilica to allow carbon dioxide capture with a much lower energy consumption than similar technologies.
A research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta have developed a new kind of material called hyperbranched aminosilica (HAS), in which the amine is held on a solid porous silica substrate, on the tips of several branches.
An advantage of HAS is the ability to reuse it many times (tested 12 times) without losing its absorption capacity. But the best thing about this technology is the low energy input compared to the liquid amines, which must be heated at very high temperatures. The solid amines HAS have to be heated to just 110°C to release the CO2, which means a 75% lower energy consumption than for liquid amines.
However, a remaining challenge is the need to reduce the heating effect of the amine/CO2 reaction because HAS captures best at cool temperatures.
The research team points to the reuse of the captured CO2 to feed biofuel stock. A biofuel producer in Louisiana precisely uses captured CO2 to grow algae.
For now, the researcher Christopher Jones is working on a pilot air capture plant in Menlo Park in California, with the aim to absorb 2 tons of CO2 per day. (Bellona)
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