SEED - Systèmes Energétiques Efficaces et Décarbonés

From CO2 capture from postcombustion flue gas by a membrane process to its valorization in a sustainable process of production of sodium bicarbonate. – C2B

Project C2B : CO2 capture and utilization based on a membrane process

The C2B project is dedicated to the capture of CO2, from a flue gas coming from a coal-fired power plant, and its regeneration as a pure flow of CO2 for its utilization or its recycling. It gathers SOLVAY company, LRGP (Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés), LGC (Laboratoire de Génie Chimique) and POLYMEM company.

General objective and main issues

The proof of concept of CO2 capture on membrane contactors through an absorbing solution has been done in previous ANR projects (CICADI and AméliE_CO2). It has even been awarded by a “Prix des techniques innovantes pour l’environnement” in 2010 at POLLUTEC.<br />The membrane module is made of hollow fibre membranes. The technology revealed important advantages against other capture processes. The key advantages are capture flexibility, intensification thanks to very high mass transfer, prevention of absorbing solution stripping, prevention of the membrane’s pore plugging.<br />But as this breakthrough process has never been implemented on real and hot flue gases containing traces of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, dusts and moisture, several works have to be performed:<br />1. Development and characterization of new composite fibres and lab-scale membrane contactors.<br />2. Determination of CO2 regeneration performances on lab-scale membrane contactors.<br />3. Design and manufacture of a membrane contactor prototype. The scale-up from lab-scale to membrane contactor prototype leads to an extrapolation by a factor 200. <br />The C2B project aims at:<br />1.Capturing CO2 in a continuous way, on a membrane contactor prototype at a capacity of several kg CO2/hour with a high yield (70% to 95%).<br />2.Regenerating a pure flow of CO2 for the production of minerals.<br />Based on the results of the capture and regeneration prototype operation, post-assessments will be performed:<br />a) Crystallization of minerals <br />b) Modeling in two dimensions the CO2 capture so as to predict the design of bigger contactors and foresee their capture performances.<br />c) Determining the economics (CAPEX and OPEX) and the environmental impact of the full process from membrane contactor prototype manufacturing to the final regeneration of pure CO2 so as to assess its sustainability.

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The C2B project is dedicated to the continuous capture of CO2, from a real flue gas coming from a coal-fired power plant, and its regeneration as a pure flow of CO2 in the production of sodium hydrogencarbonate (SBC), also known as BICAR® at SOLVAY. It gathers SOLVAY company (P1, Dombasle), LRGP (P2, Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés, Nancy), LGC (P3, Laboratoire de Génie Chimique, Toulouse) and POLYMEM company (P4, Toulouse).

The proof of concept of CO2 capture on membrane contactors through an absorbing solution (amine and ammonia-based) has been done in previous ANR projects (CICADI and AméliE_CO2). It has even been awarded by a “Prix des techniques innovantes pour l’environnement” in 2010 at POLLUTEC.

The membrane module is made of hollow fibre membranes coated with a thin layer of a perfluorinated polymer. The technology revealed important advantages against other capture processes. The key advantages are capture flexibility, intensification thanks to very high mass transfer, prevention of absorbing solution stripping, prevention of the membrane’s pore plugging.

But as this breakthrough process has never been implemented on real and hot flue gases containing traces of sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, dusts and moisture, several works have to be performed:
1. Development and characterization of new composite fibres and lab-scale membrane contactors with enhanced performances in terms of mechanical and thermal resistance and in term of CO2 absorption.
Numerous questions are raised, among them the fibres' resilience and aging against residual fine particles (fly ashes) and hot temperature. This is a key challenge of the project.
2. Determination of CO2 regeneration performances on lab-scale membrane contactors.
Another breakthrough innovation will be the assessment of the regeneration of a pure flow of CO2 on the same lab-scale membrane contactor as the one used for CO2 absorption. This has never been performed up to now.
3. Design and manufacture of a membrane contactor prototype.
The scale-up from lab-scale to membrane contactor prototype leads to an extrapolation by a factor 200. Such modules have never been manufactured and C2B acts as a pioneer in this domain.

Based on a real postcombustion flue gas generated by a SOLVAY’s coal boiler (Dombasle), the C2B project aims at:
1. Capturing CO2 in a continuous way, on a membrane contactor prototype at a capacity of several kg CO2 captured/hour and further absorbing it into an ammonium carbonate solution with a high yield (70% to 95%) to form an ammonium hydrogencarbonate solution.
2. Regenerating a pure flow of CO2 and a solution of ammonium carbonate in a pressurized and heated reactor.
The regenerated CO2 will be easily valorized. It will be the highly valuable raw material of the production of sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3, a SOLVAY’S specialty. The use of pure regenerated CO2 for BICAR® production will be a technological advantage from a process point of view.

Based on the results of the capture and regeneration prototype operation, post-assessments will be performed:
1. Crystallization of high added-value SBC with the regenerated pure CO2 and a real sodium carbonate-based solution from SOLVAY Dombasle's plant: this will allow verifying the compliance with European and US Pharmacopeia.
2. Modeling in two dimensions the CO2 capture so as to predict the design of bigger contactors and foresee their capture performances.
3. Determining the economics (CAPEX and OPEX) and the environmental impact of the full process from membrane contactor prototype manufacturing to the final regeneration of pure CO2 so as to assess its sustainability.

The C2B project intends to develop CO2 capture from real postcombustion flue gas with a dedicated membrane contactor prototype installed on an industrial site. The captured CO2 will be right away regenerated and valorized to produce BICAR® used worldwide in many high added-value applications.

Project coordination

Karine CAVALIER-GENTY (SOLVAY CARBONATE FRANCE)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

SOLVAY SOLVAY CARBONATE FRANCE
LRGP-CNRS Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés
POLYMEM
LGC Laboratoire de Génie Chimique

Help of the ANR 815,372 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2013 - 42 Months

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