Hollow fibre membrane modules show promise for carbon capture

Mar 04, 2014 by Tony Steeper
High tech spaghetti shows promise for carbon capture

CO2CRC researchers at the University of New South Wales have installed a custom built rig at Delta Electricity's Carbon Capture Research Facility at Vales Point Power Station to trial new hollow fibre membranes for capturing carbon dioxide from power stations.

Hollow fibre membrane modules contain hundreds of tiny spaghetti-like tubes which maximise contact between the gas and the membrane surfaces. Flue gas passes across the outside of the tubes but only carbon dioxide passes through to the inside. A similar approach is used to purify water in some desalination plants.

"The trials are an important step in developing effective membranes for industrial scale use," says Professor Dianne Wiley, CO2CRC Capture Program Manager.

"The new membranes are highly selective for carbon dioxide in the lab but until we trial them with real flue gas we won't see how well they stand up to industrial conditions".

The Vales Point rig is able to test three hollow fibre modules at a time, providing the flexibility to test a range of new formulations.

Currently carbon dioxide is separated from flue gas using volatile liquid solvents, which are bulky and have a significant energy cost.

Hollow fibre membranes have the potential to substantially reduce the energy required to capture , while having a smaller environmental and physical footprint than existing solvent systems.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) has been developing innovative carbon capture systems since 2003.

The Vales Point trials are the latest in a long line of capture technology trials using real power station , including environmentally friendly solvents, several types of new membranes and adsorbent systems.

Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is currently the only technology that can deal with the very large quantity of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and is a vital part of the lowest cost pathway to meeting global 2050 emission reduction targets.

Explore further: NOAA establishes 'tipping points' for sea level rise related flooding

Provided by Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New CO2 'scrubber' from ingredient in hair conditioners

Mar 24, 2010

Relatives of ingredients in hair-conditioning shampoos and fabric softeners show promise as a long-sought material to fight global warming by "scrubbing" carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the flue gases from coal-burning ...

Recommended for you

New challenges for ocean acidification research

10 hours ago

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

Compromises lead to climate change deal

10 hours ago

Earlier this month, delegates from the various states that make up the UN met in Lima, Peru, to agree on a framework for the Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to take place in Paris next year. For ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.