A Process and System for Separation and Capture of Carbon Dioxide from Water

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Systems and methods for the separation of carbon dioxide and water
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Inventors
Professor Paul Barton
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
External Link (yoric.mit.edu)
Thomas Adams
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
Managed By
Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
Patent Protection

Systems and methods for the separation of carbon dioxide and water

US Patent 8,500,868
Publications
High-efficiency power production from natural gas with carbon capture
Journal of Power Sources, Volume 195, Issue 7, 2 April 2010, Pages 1971–1983

Applications

This technology can be used to separate anode gases exiting a fuel cell at medium to high pressure. This invention is also applicable to exhaust gases of a similar composition from oxycombustion and chemical looping technologies. This technology achieves both efficiency improvement of power plants and carbon capture and sequestration by reducing the parasitic load required to capture and pressurize the CO2 (compared to the prior art), and by providing sufficient purification for pipeline transport to a geological sequestration site. This invention will be beneficial in power plant implementations, including those using a large variety of carbonaceous feedstocks such as coal, natural gas, and biofuels.

Problem Addressed

Existing methods to remove CO2 from fuel gases (such as solvent-based absorption, specially designed selective membranes, calcination, and condensing oxidation waste gases at low pressures) are often expensive, hazardous, or inefficient. Achieving CO2 purities as a supercritical fluid suitable for transport in a pipeline is also difficult. By using a multi-stage flash cascade in conjunction with multi-stage compression and condensation, this process will remove  CO2 with high efficiency and high purities.

Technology

This invention describes a process for separating and capturing  CO2 from water. A vapor stream containing CO2 and water is separated using a multi-stage flash cascade in conjunction with multi-stage compression and condensation. Additional cooling and flash steps can optionally be employed to help remove atmospheric gases such as nitrogen and argon from the feed. CO2 is condensed and pressurized to purities suitable for pipeline transport and eventual storage in geological formations, and water is recovered at high purity. Additionally, this power generation process incorporating the technique is shown to  achieve high efficiency and zero emissions.

Advantages

  • More energy efficient separation with zero emissions
  • Higher purity water
  • No special solvents or membranes required
  • Removal of incondensable gases such as nitrogen and argon