Towards Achieving Net Zero Emissions From The Co-Combustion Of Natural Gas And Biomass: A Commercial Pathway For Evaluating The Performance Of A Novel Solvent Blend

By: Patience Tiorkor Bekoe

Concerns about climate change have intensified as human and industrial activities continue to emit increasing amounts of carbon emissions. There has been an urgent need to explore and develop techniques to reduce emissions and/or achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in order to resolve this issue and restore balance.

One of the results of this pursuit is the birth of the carbon capturing technology, a process which aids in capturing CO2 directly from power plants or industrial facilities before it enters into the atmosphere. Of the three methods employed in this endeavour, solvent-based post combustion carbon capture has become widely accepted due to its cost-effectiveness and efficiency in removing CO2 from flue gases. Additionally, its ease of integration into existing power plants without major changes have made it highly desirable.

Given that amine-based solvents offer a lower energy requirement, a high CO2 removal efficiency, and swift kinetics, among other advantages, they have emerged as one of the most successful solvents for the capture of carbon from these point sources. There has been further study on amine solvent blending to optimize its kinetics and performance for the carbon capture process.

The focus of this study is to evaluate the performance and kinetics of a novel amine blend, earlier developed by an elite member of the group, in post combustion-based carbon capture processes.  Specifically, this research shall be carried out using a bench scale pilot plant in an attempt to mimic the solvent blend’s performance and kinetics in a miniature industrial setup using laboratory simulated flue gas from the combustion of biomass and natural gas. The research will focus on analysing how different configurations and operational parameters (e.g., temperature, pressure, reactant concentrations) affect the carbon removal efficiency. This includes understanding how various physical and chemical properties (such as reaction kinetics) influence their effectiveness at capturing CO2 from selected point sources.