Economic Capture of CO2 with Amines and Ionic Liquids Tethered in the Gas Phase

EPA Contract Number: EPD10031
Title: Economic Capture of CO2 with Amines and Ionic Liquids Tethered in the Gas Phase
Investigators: Hammen, Richard F.
Small Business: IntelliMet, LLC
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2010 through August 31, 2010
Project Amount: $69,479
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Greenhouse Gases


The objective of this project is to develop CO2 absorption columns with rates of production that will enable CO2 capture for less than $20 per ton of CO2. The research will make use of a nano-composite sorbent material called interstitial “Spiderwebs”TM. The Spiderweb material was conceived to overcome a fundamental kinetic limitation of conventional solid sorbents for molecular and ionic separations in aqueous solutions. The Spiderweb sorbents are thinly cross-linked networks of polymers covalently tethered in the interstitial volumes between hollow glass microspheres. CO2 selective ligands are tethered onto the Spiderweb so that they are placed in the middle of the gas phase between the microspheres and away from the stagnant surface. This enables the CO2 binding groups to rapidly capture the gas. The CO2 is captured with residence times of seconds. Temperature swing elution also occurs in seconds. This Phase I research will fabricate and characterize a library of composite CO2 capture columns with varying CO2-binding reagents such as tethered amines and ionic liquid components. The specific objectives are to:

  1. Prepare composite sorbent columns with CO2-binding amines tethered in the gas phase of the composite matrix.
  2. Prepare composite sorbent columns with CO2-binding imidazolium slats tethered in the phase of the composite matrix.
  3. Measure performance of the sorbent columns with respect to:
    1. Capacity of the columns measured as kg CO2 per cubic meter of sorbent.
    2. Kinetics of adsorption of CO2 measured as kg CO2/cubic meter per second, while achieving 90 percent CO2 recovery from a 12 percent CO2/N2 gas mixture.
    3. Kinetics of desorption of CO2 from the columns as kg CO2 liberated per second.
  4. Provide preliminary engineering analysis of the unit process costs of the CO2 capture columns.

The expected results are to:  synthesize carbon capture columns with very high capacities of moles carbon dioxide per kg of sorbent; demonstrate kinetics characteristics that will enable the sorbent beds to capture greater than 90 percent of CO2 with a flow rate of more than 10 bed volumes per minute; and to show desorption of the CO2 to occur in a few seconds. The potential commercial application will be to provide carbon capture units that will enable the economically feasible reduction of greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, greenhouse gases, GHG, CO2 capture, carbon capture columns, CO2 absorption columns, air quality, nanocomposite sorbent,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report