Development of catalysts for post-combustion carbon capture

By: Samuel Nii-Adjei Adjetey

The development of catalysts for post-combustion carbon capture is important for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the challenge of climate change. Catalysts can improve the efficiency of Carbon (IV) Oxide capture, and reduce the energy requirements and costs associated with the process; making it more economically viable. One approach being explored is the use of heterogeneous solid catalysts in combination with amine-based chemical absorption post-combustion capture.

The focus of this research is to develop heterogeneous solid catalysts that improve the carbon dioxide absorption capacity of a novel amine bi-blend solvent and to assess its impact on a system designed to obtain net zero through the indirect co-combustion of natural gas with biomass. The catalysts would be synthesized to have a high specific surface area, large pore volume, and a high number of basic sites, making them ideal for enhancing Carbon dioxide capture kinetics. This would involve; an informed catalyst selection process, catalyst synthesis, characterization of the developed catalyst, screening, optimization and data analysis carried out on the performance of the catalyst as applied to a bench-scale pilot plant.

To test the effectiveness of these catalysts, however, a laboratory batch-scale Carbon dioxide screening apparatus will be used to evaluate the carbon dioxide removal activity of each catalyst. The synthesized catalysts will also be characterized using various techniques such as Braeuer-Emmett-Teller (BET) to determine physical properties, Temperature programmed desorption (TPD) to determine basicity, and X-Ray diffraction analysis (XRD) to determine the crystallographic structure and chemical composition. Finally, the Carbon dioxide capture ability of the superbase catalyst and its impact on net zero will be systematically examined under operational settings in a bi-blend amine solvent.

By introducing the catalyst, one could potentially increase the efficiency of the carbon capture system, leading to a reduction in carbon emissions and a more effective move towards carbon neutrality or carbon negativity. The specific impact of the catalyst on net zero would also depend on the specific characteristics of the system and the type of catalyst used. In the design, one thing to consider would also be the cost-effectiveness and scalability of the technology when retrofitting an existing one.

This information is essential for conducting an optimization study of the catalyst and enhancing its performance in post-combustion carbon capture processes which involve the indirect co-combustion of biomass and natural gas.