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Publication Detail
Design, process simulation and construction of a 100 kW pilot-scale CO2membrane rig: Improving in situ CO2capture using selective exhaust gas recirculation (S-EGR)
© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) from natural gas-fired systems is an emerging field and many of the concepts and underlying scientific principles are still being developed. Preliminary studies suggest this approach can boost the CO 2 content in the feed gas up to 3 times compared to the ‘no recycle’ case (CO 2 concentration increased to 18% vs. 6%), with a consequent reduction in flow to the post-combustion capture unit by a factor of three compared to conventional, non-S-EGR. For this project, Cranfield University developed a pilot-scale 100 kW CO 2 membrane rig facility in order to investigate simultaneously EGR and S-EGR technologies, the latter being achieved by using a CO 2 sweep air polymeric membrane. A bench-scale membrane rig has also been developed to investigate the permeability and selectivity of different polymeric membranes to CO 2 . Currently a small-scale polydimethylsiloxane (PDM S) membrane module is also being investigated to study its selectivity/permeability. The tests include exploring the performance improvement of the PDMS membrane using different operating conditions with a view to developing scale-up procedures for the membrane unit for the actual 100 kW pilot-scale rig. Process simulations were performed using Aspen Plus software to predict the behaviour of the pilot-scale rig using a model developed based on empirical parameters (i.e., mass transfer coefficient of CO 2 through the membrane and permeance), measured in the bench-scale membrane test unit. The results show that CO 2 concentrations of up to 14.9% (comparable to CO 2 level in coal combustion) can be achieved with 60% EGR, with a 90% CO 2 removal efficiency of the membrane units. However, the results generated with the membrane model in which specific permeance values to PDMS were applied, predicted concentrations of CO 2 in flue gases up to 9.8% (v/v) for a selective recycle of 60%. The study shows that the S-EGR technique is an effective method that can provide similar conditions to that of a coal-fired power plant for the post-combustion capture system operating on natural gas-fired units, but also highlights the fact that more research is required to find more suitable materials for membranes that optimise the CO 2 removal efficiencies from the flue gas.
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