Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels are widely considered to have deleterious effects on the environment -- including global climate change. Abating these emissions by capturing and storing CO2 (CCS) is considered a promising method of reducing atmospheric CO2 before non-fossil fuel energy resources can materially replace fossil fuel resources. Coal fired power plants are the most promising candidates for CCS because of their widespread use and the high fraction of CO2 in their effluent. Aqueous amine scrubbers are used to absorb CO2 from bulk nitrogen in the waste gas stream of coal power plants. As an acid gas CO2 interacts with basic amines and is removed from the effluent. However the use of aqueous amines has serious drawbacks -- including prohibitively high regeneration costs solution boil-off and corrosive properties. The cost of capture and CO2 regeneration from the solvent constitutes about two-thirds of the total CCS costs. Accordingly technologies that can lower the costs of CO2 removal from flue gas have the potential to materially lower overall CCS costs and lead to greater implementation of CCS. To address this challenge researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a CCS solution based on alkylamine functionalized metal-organic frameworks. This solution almost entirely eliminates solvent loss and corrosivity problems. Moreover the lower heat capacity of this solid material-based solution should reduce the energy input required to regenerate the material -- thereby substantially lowering regeneration costs.
Lower costs due to: almost entirely eliminating the solvent loss and corrosive problems of the conventional solution (aqueous amine); and lower heat capacity reducing the energy input needed to regenerate the material.