Modelling advanced adsorption processes for post-combustion capture

  • Supervisors: Professor Stefano Brandani (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Paul Wright (University of St Andrews).
  • Sponsoring Company: PSE
  • PhD Student: Alessio Centineo

Carbon capture from power stations and industrial sources is an essential pillar in the effort of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the legally binding target set by the 2008 Climate Change Act of 80% reductions by 2050. The current state-of-the-art technologies for post-combustion capture (including retrofit options for existing plants) are based on amine scrubbers, but inherent energy requirements make this an expensive option and significant research is aimed at the development of next generation carbon capture processes that reduce the cost of capital equipment and the energy needed.

Adsorption based processes deliver significant improvements and the US DOE has identified this area as having the potential of achieving a cost of electricity for a pulverised coal plant with carbon capture and CO2 compression that has < 35% cost increase over the plant without capture.

The proposed project builds on the significant adsorption research programme in the carbon capture group at the University of Edinburgh as part of the Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage centre. The project will address three main points:

1)      In collaboration with Process Systems Enterprise (PSE) we will define base case studies and develop detailed models for rapid thermal swing adsorption and advanced multistage vacuum swing adsorption processes. These will consider initially a pre-dried feed gas stream.

2)      Develop a detailed model, with experimental validation, of a hybrid condenser/adsorption process to dry the flue gas.

3)      Study the process integration options for case studies including both coal and gas fired power plants.