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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N024613/1
Title: Versatile Adsorption Processes for the Capture of Carbon Dioxide from Industrial Sources - FlexICCS
Principal Investigator: Brandani, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Wright, Professor PA Mangano, Dr E Campbell, Professor EEB
Friedrich, Dr D
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Air Products and Chemicals Diageo Howden Group Technology
INEOS Technologies UK Lotte Chemical UK Ltd Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
Tees Valley Unlimited
Department: Sch of Engineering
Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2016 Ends: 30 April 2021 Value (£): 860,548
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Carbon Capture & Storage
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
17 Feb 2016 Industrial CCS Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The 2008 Climate Change Act sets a legally binding target of 80% CO2 emissions reductions by 2050. This target will require nearly complete decarbonisation of large and medium scale emitters. While the power sector has the option of shifting to low carbon systems (renewables and nuclear), for industrial emissions, which will account for 45% of global emissions, the solution has to be based on developing more efficient processes and a viable carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure. The government recognises also that "there are some industrial processes which, by virtue of the chemical reactions required for production, will continue to emit CO2", ie CCS is the only option to tackle these emissions. In order for the UK industry to maintain its competitiveness and meet these stringent requirements new processes are needed which reduce the cost of carbon capture, typically more than 60% of the overall cost of CCS.

Research challenge - The key challenges in carbon capture from industry lie in the wide range of conditions (temperature, pressure, composition) and scale of the processes encountered in industrial applications. For carbon capture from industrial sources the drivers and mechanisms to achieve emissions reductions will be very different from those of the power generation industry. It is important to consider that for example the food and drinks industry is striving to reduce the carbon footprint of the products we purchase due to pressures from consumers.

The practical challenge and the real long term opportunity for R&D are solutions for medium to small scale sources. In developing this project we have collaborated with several industrial colleagues to identify a broad range case studies to be investigated. As an example of low CO2 concentration systems we have identified a medium sized industry: Lotte Chemicals in Redcar, manufacturer of PET products primarily for the packaging of food and drinks. The plant has gas fired generators that produce 3500 kg/hr of CO2 each at approximately 7%. The emissions from the generators are equivalent to 1/50th of a 500 MW gas fired power plant. The challenge is to intensify the efficiency of the carbon capture units by reducing cycle times and increasing the working capacity of the adsorbents. To tackle this challenge we will develop novel amine supporting porous carbons housed in a rotary wheel adsorber. To maximise the volume available for the adsorbent we will consider direct electrical heating, thus eliminating the need for heat transfer surfaces and introducing added flexibility in case steam is not available on site.

As an example of high CO2 concentrations we will collaborate with Air Products. The CO2 capture process will be designed around the steam methane reformer used to generate hydrogen. The tail gas from this system contains 45% v/v CO2. The base case will be for a generator housed in a shipping container. By developing a corresponding carbon capture module this can lead to a system that can produce clean H2 from natural gas or shale gas, providing a flexible low carbon source of H2 or fuel for industrial applications.

Rapid cycle adsorption based processes will be developed to drive down costs by arriving flexible systems with small footprints for a range of applications and that can lead to mass-production of modular units. We will carry out an ambitious programme of work that will address both materials and process development for carbon capture from industrial sources.

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