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Len Rosen's picture
Principal Author and Editor, 21st Century Tech Blog

Futurist, Writer and Researcher, now retired, former freelance writer for new technology ventures. Former President & CEO of Len Rosen Marketing Inc., a marketing consulting firm focused on...

  • Member since 2018
  • 199 items added with 185,586 views
  • Feb 27, 2023

The current commercial forms of carbon capture for sequestration or upcycling remain very expensive and as a result, companies are hesitant to add these technologies to existing operations without government assistance. But a novel technology using lab-developed solvents can bring the cost down to as little as $38 per ton which is cheaper than forest management sequestration projects at $40 per ton. 

Roger Arnold's picture
Roger Arnold on Mar 8, 2023

If this works out as well as the PNNL researchers are projecting, it could be a Big Deal for clean energy. The solvent that was used for carbon capture -- EEMPA -- is significantly better that MDEA, the solvent widely used for capturing CO2 from natural gas. Though it works well for that application, MDEA isn't so good for capturing CO2 from hot flue gases. It has a high water content, making it costly, energy-wise, to regenerate. EEMPA has a low water content, so after capturing CO2, it takes less energy to heat it and release the CO2 to regenerate the solvent for the next capture cycle. That's for a conventional capture and release cycle yielding a purified CO2 stream. If synthesis of methanol can be combined with the solvent regeneration process, things get even better. The outputs of the proces are then regenerated EEMPA and methanol, rather than EEMPA and CO2. In the latter case, the CO2 must be compressed and transported by pipeline to a sequestration site. Big pipelines run into permitting issues, and small pipelines are uneconomical. But if the output from the regeneration process is methanol, the methanol can be accumulated in a tank, and transported by truck or rail car to wherever it's to be used. If the methanol is destined to be burned as fuel, there's a useful way to prevent its carbon content from being emitted into the atmosphere. That's to use it to fuel a dispatchable Allam cycle power plant. Allam cycle power plants produce pure CO2 waste streams. They can be located near CO2 injection wells to sequester the CO2.

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Thank Len for the Post!
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