Post-Combustion CO2 Capture by Vacuum Swing Adsorption Using Zeolites – a Feasibility Study

Abstract : Simulation results in the literature suggest that Vacuum Swing Adsorption (VSA) processes using physisorbents might largely outperform the current state-of-the-art post-combustion CO2 capture technologies based on amine solvents in terms of energy consumption. Most studies consider the zeolite NaX as adsorbent. NaX has a very strong affinity for CO2 but is difficult to regenerate and very sensitive to the presence of water in the flue gas. By tuning the polarity of the adsorbent, it might be possible to find a better compromise between adsorption capacity, regenerability and sensitivity to H2O. In the present contribution, we therefore screen the performance of a series of zeolites as physisorbents in a VSA process for CO2 capture. The adsorbents are tested by breakthrough experiments of a dry and wet model flue gas, in once-through and cyclic operation. The most interesting material, zeolite EMC-1, is selected for numerical simulations of a full VSA cycle, in comparison with zeolite NaX. Both solids satisfy the performance targets in terms of recovery (> 90%) and purity of CO2 (> 95%) but the very low pressure required for regeneration of the adsorbents will be a serious handicap for the deployment of this technology on a large scale.
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G. D. Pirngruber, V. Carlier, D. Leinekugel-Le-Cocq. Post-Combustion CO2 Capture by Vacuum Swing Adsorption Using Zeolites – a Feasibility Study. Oil & Gas Science and Technology - Revue d'IFP Energies nouvelles, Institut Français du Pétrole, 2014, 69 (6), pp.989-1003. ⟨10.2516/ogst/2012067⟩. ⟨hal-01933518⟩

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