CO2 Capture Membrane Process
We are leading a research team to develop a polymer membrane-based process for capturing CO2 and to integrate this technology with existing power plants. Our development efforts are focused on new, high-performance membrane materials, modules, and process design to create a cost-effective CO2 capture technology. Membrane-based CO2 separation is a potentially attractive pathway for industrial application as membranes tend to be energy-efficient, require minimal maintenance, and are scalable.
- Arkema, Inc.—synthesis of new fluoropolymer chemistry and microstructures
- Generon IGS—improvement of existing membrane hollow fibers and modules
Technology Development Focused on Materials Improvement and Total Process Design
RTI and our partners have structured our CO2 capture membrane development effort into three main R&D areas:
- Membrane Materials Development
Leveraging polymer synthesis and engineering expertise of the project team, new fluoropolymer chemistries and microstructures are being evaluated to improve upon CO2 capture membranes.
- Membrane Module Development
Using Generon's hollow-fiber membrane platform as a baseline, the project team is tailoring hollow fibers and membrane modules to perform effectively in specific CO2 capture applications.
- Process Engineering
We have developed a 3-stage process design that reduces compression energy and total membrane area as compared to a single membrane design. These novel process designs and integration strategies help to guide materials and module development efforts.
As part of this project, the team will take new polymers, hollow fibers, and modules and evaluate their performance at a power plant facility in North Carolina. Successful execution of each R&D area is critical to accomplishing our goal of testing for 300+ hours using actual coal-fired flue gas from the plant site.
Impact of a Novel CO2 Capture Membrane Process
Benefits of a membrane-based CO2 capture technology include:
- No moving parts
- Minimal maintenance
- Minimal operator attention
- No sorption and desorption heat associated with removing CO2
- Relatively compact design
It is anticipated that our membrane technology can fit both niche and large-scale CO2 separation applications. The modular design of a membrane process allows for use as a single module or several hundred modules depending on the scale of the CO2 removal required.
Our Membrane Development Expertise
RTI has been active for nearly a decade in the development and deployment of industrially important membrane-based gas separation technologies. See Membrane Development for additional information.