Mathematical Modeling, Simulation and Optimization of a CO2 Capture Process in an Absorption Column using a Catalyzed Ionic Solvent as an Absorbent

By: Nana Adjei Domfeh

As the world moves toward a more efficient and cleaner energy ecosystem, research in energy systems improvement and clean fuel technologies have taken the forefront of scientific studies within this domain. However, the development of innovative solutions from the laboratory to an industrial scale can be extremely costly, restricting the breadth of experimentation.

In addition, the world is currently on the precipice of a dramatic transition that requires a reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emissions in order to keep climatic conditions from tipping outside of our collaborative efforts. This in turn has prompted a slew of research in the field of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage. Amongst these solutions is the use of amine-based solvents as absorbent to extract CO2 from flue gas. This approach to dealing with the emission menace allows for the effective control of emissions and to preserve our industrial edge while reducing our impact/footprint on the natural environment.

Despite the fact that the most significant challenges to the amine absorption-regeneration approach to capture CO2 from flue gas has to do with solvent management and a higher cost of regeneration energy, research has been done to develop ionic solvents that mimic the performance of these amine-based solutions but with a better stability.

A newly developed ionic solvent, is to be tested in order to understand its performance and utilization on an industrial scale. Thus, necessitating the development of a mathematical model as a first point of system assessment, to adequately predict the performance and reliability of the solvent in both its catalyzed and uncatalyzed states, based on physicochemical properties, empirical data, reaction kinetics and thermodynamic behaviors, while also serving as a quick and easily accessible aid to system diagnostics and troubleshooting.