CO2 Capture Technology
With growing concerns over preservation of the environment, an emphasis on clean air is a focal point. In the field of greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide emissions are becoming increasingly scrutinized – particularly in the power industry. The Obama administration is taking action to combat climate change. These actions have included renewable energy, increase in energy efficiency, and reduction in emissions.
Currently, there are only a handful of commercial units capturing CO2 in the United States. This is predominantly due to lack of regulations requiring limits on emissions as well as the overall cost for commercially available CO2 capture technologies. ION Engineering is currently developing CO2 capture technology that outperforms other available technologies while reducing overall costs to make CO2 capture a more viable option.
There are three main approaches to carbon capture that are typically used for utilities:
- Pre-combustion – Removal of CO2 before burning the fuel source.
- Post-combustion – Method that removes CO2 from the flue gas after the fuel sources is burned.
- Oxyfuel combustion – Instead of burning the fuel source in the presence of air, it’s burned in the presence of pure oxygen.
At this point, post-combustion is the focal point for CO2 capture technologies due to their ability to be added onto existing facilities. There are three different types of post-combustion carbon capture solutions being studied today:
- Solvent – The most common type of post-combustion capture technology. The solvent absorbs CO2 upon contact in an absorber column and then is separated using heat to recycle the solvent and to safely capture the carbon dioxide. ION has developed a highly efficient, cost-effective novel solvent-based technology.
- Solid-sorbents: – In a similar way to solvent-based capture, sorbents work via absorption but, is solids-based rather than a liquid solvent.
- Membranes: – Involves a stationary filter system of sorts that captures CO2 through large membrane filters.