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Intensified carbon capture using swirling fluidized beds

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jonathan McDonough, Dr Richard Law, Dr David Reay, Dr Vladimir Zivkovic


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Up to 25% of the total European Union (EU) CO2 emissions are from industrial processes, and while improved energy efficiency and process integration continues to play a role in minimizing these, it is carbon capture (CC) that will contribute most to mitigation in the short and medium terms, at least until nuclear energy and renewable technologies take over from fossil fuels. One of several CC methods is to use gas-solid adsorption, where the CO2 is adsorbed onto a solid. Collaborating in an EPSRC-funded project with Heriot-Watt University, where hydrotalcite-based adsorbents are being synthesised, and Sheffield University, where modelling is being undertaken, Newcastle University is examining the intensification of CC using a TSA-based process involving swirling or toroidal fluidized beds. In the present study, we have collaborated with Torftech in order to construct the first small-scale swirling fluidized bed for sorbent screening applications using additive manufacturing. Here, we have successfully fluidized a wide range of particles in both 50 mm and 75 mm diameter swirling beds: silica particles (ρp = 2.65 g/cm3, Dp = 93 ± 10 μm, Geldart A), a commercial pharmaceutical powder (ρp = 1.3 g/cm3, Dp = 10 ± 2 μm, Geldart C), hydrotalcite sorbents (ρp = 1–2 g/cm3, Dp = 25 μm, Geldart C) and activated carbon pellets (ρp = 2 g/cm3, Dp = 1.5 mm, Geldart D). The present focus is to now screen the novel hydrotalcite sorbents being synthesised by Heriot Watt and commercial activated carbon pellets for CO2 capture from an artificial flue gas stream to inform the design of a carbon capture process for processes in the industrial sector (such as cement and iron/steel production). These experiments are currently being performed at varying temperatures (20–200 °C) and in the presence and absence of water vapour controlled using an in-line membrane contactor.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McDonough JR, Law R, Reay DA, Zivkovic V

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: ChemEngDay 2019

Year of Conference: 2019

Online publication date: 08/04/2019

Acceptance date: 05/03/2019

Publisher: IChemE