CO₂ Capture

The research field “CO₂- Capture” covers the development and optimization of processes to capture CO₂ from industrial flue and raw gases in the energy, chemical and steel sector. Here, the alternative processes Carbonate Looping, Chemical Looping and Oxyfuel Combustion are considered.

Despite the ever increasing share of renewables, conventional power plants still represent an essential share of the energy sector, due to their extraordinary robustness and high availability. Yet, an unlimited operation of these power plants is no longer acceptable, because of climate protection considerations.

One possibility to unite the advantages of conventional power plants with a by magnitudes lower carbon footprint are so called carbon capture technologies, through which the CO₂ formed during the combustion process is being captured, facilitating a further processing instead of an uncontrolled release into the atmosphere. On top of a largely reduced CO₂-output and the enabling of material utilization of carbon dioxide, negative CO₂-emissions can be achieved through carbon capture technologies, in case biomass or waste materials are being used as a fuel. Therefore, they play a crucial role in international climate change mitigation strategies.

Apart from the industrially available amine wash, which exhibits significant energy penalties due to the required regeneration of the solvent, the following carbon capture techniques are available:

  • Carbonate Looping, through which CO₂ is captured from the combustion flue gas using limestone
  • Chemical Looping, for which a solid oxygen carrier supplies the oxygen required for combustion inside the firing chamber, preventing the dilution of the flue gas with nitrogen
  • Oxyfuel Combustion, for which pure oxygen is being supplied into the combustion chamber, leading to a nitrogen free flue gas mixture

The team at EST aims at a further optimization of the above-stated processes in semi-industrial scale, to eliminate prevailing obstacles for their large scale implementation.