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4 CO[sub(2)] Reuse towards Low Carbon Economy

4 CO[sub(2)] Reuse towards Low Carbon Economy

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oleum reserv

ves, or in aqu

uifers), or as industrial feedstock foor synthesis of chemicalls

or hy

ydrocarbon fuels


(Omaee 2006). Tech

hnological ooptions for C

CO2 capture from diluted

streaams consistss of chemiccal solventss (e.g., aminnes, potassiium carbonate, aqueouus


monia); physical solvents (e.g., glyccol, methanool, ionic liquuids); chem

mical sorbentts

(e.g.,, amine-mod

dified sorbents, metalorrganic frameeworks); meembranes (e.g., polymerr,


mic); enzym

matic processses; novel methods


(e.g., CO2 hydraates) (Arestaa et al. 2010)).

Thesse technologiies are discu

ussed in detaail in other chhapters of thhis book.

Tablle 7.2. Catio

on/anion com

mpounds com

mprising the main types of ionic liquuids (adapted


m Zhang et all. 2006)












I−, Brr−, Cl−

BF4−, PF6−

ZnCl3−, CuuCl2−, SnCl3−









R1 R





Al2Cl7−, Al3Cl10−









ure 7.4. Enerrgy productio

on intended for low carbbon economyy



7.4.2 Risks of CCS

Despite diverse technological advancements in CCS, the major challenges for

global implementation of CCS are: (i) significant investment cost for infrastructure; (ii)

lack of comprehensive understanding of the risk factors associated with the long-term

ecological consequences of CCS via existing technologies; and (iii) risk factors of the

reservoir options (Liu and Gallagher 2010). CO2 storage in deep geological formations

and ocean is actively debated in the literature, due to seemingly plausible risks of

adverse impact on the aquatic environment (i.e., ocean acidification, an effect on marine

life and eco-balance, etc.) (Zevenhoven et al. 2006). Moreover, on a long-term basis

these solutions are temporary. For example, disposal/storage in deep geological

formations seems to be a less expensive and risky option than ocean sequestration,

however, any accidental leakage of CO2 can lead to leaching of harmful trace elements

in freshwater aquifers by lowering of pH and can also adversely affect soil chemistry. It

was estimated that even 1% leak of captured CO2 could nullify the sequestration effort

in a century and could be catastrophic for humans and animals (Liu and Gallagher

2010). The CO2 leakage happened in the Lake Nahos in Africa asphyxiated about three

thousand people (Muradov and Veziroglu 2008). Thus, the low carbon economy concept

has immense challenges due to lack of reliability of existing CCS technologies.

7.4.3 Production of Carbon Free or Carbon Neutral Fuels

Another prospective decarbonisation strategy for low carbon economy could be

the production of hydrogen from fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas, petroleum or coal)

coupled with CO2 sequestration. In this approach, hydrogen is produced from fossil fuel

and the CO2 formed as a reaction by-product is captured and sequestered. The energy

conversion efficiency for coal and natural gas as a feed for the production of hydrogen

are 50‒60% and 70‒75%, respectively (Muradov and Veziroglu 2008). The

commendable features of this approach are that the energy infrastructure could be based

on a range of carbonaceous fuels, either biomass or fossil based, without the pollution

load of CO2 in the atmosphere. Similarly, the technologies under active research and

development such as steam methane reforming can play a major role in driving low

carbon economies. Strategies for achieving the goal of low carbon economy at the

utilization level of fuels/energy are also important (Damm and Fedorov 2008). Use of

electric vehicles, hydrogen powered vehicles, and substitution of petroleum fuels with

carbon neutral biofuels are few examples discussed in the following.

Electric Vehicles. Electric vehicles are attractive mode to eliminate direct

carbon emissions by the transportation sector. The electricity consumed by the electric

vehicles can be generated at a large-scale centralized location from renewable/

alternative energy sources or from fossil fuels coupled with CO2 sequestration. This

electric energy will be used by the vehicle to produce mechanical energy with no direct



CO2 emissions. Fig. 7.5 sh

hows the geeneral schem

me for low carbon ecoonomy at thhe

utilizzation level of fuels/enerrgy. The eneergy efficienncy of electrric vehicles can be betteer

than internal com

mbustion engines. Curreently, howevver, energy ddensity and the chargingg

time of batteries are limiting factors (Dam

mm and Feddorov 2008).. Use of raree earth metalls

(e.g.,, lithium) in

n batteries are

a also a matter


of conncern as theey may ham

mper the cosst


petitiveness of electric vehicles.



ure 7.5. Straategies for acchieving thee goal of low

w carbon ecconomy at thhe utilizationn

levell of fuels/eneergy

Hydrogeen Fueled Vehicles.


Use of hydroggen in autom

mobiles can provide zero


on emission

n in two waays: fuel cell technologgy and interrnal combusstion enginee.

Simiilar to electrricity, the pu

ure hydrogeen can be prroduced at a central loccation (usingg


wable energ

gy sources or

o from fossil fuels cooupled with CO2 sequestration) andd

distriibuted throu

ugh infrastruucture (refueelling stationns, pipeliness, trucking, etc.) tailoredd

for hydrogen.




hydrogeen can be burned in an internall combustioon engine oor

electtrochemically converted

d to electricitty via a fue l cell system

m (Fig. 7.5). Analysis oof

severral feasible scenarios


suuggests that the

t broad sccale use of hhydrogen-fueelled vehiclees

can stabilize


the atmosphericc levels of CO2 (Dutton aand Page 20007; Conte 2009; Cormoos

et al. 2010). Nevertheless


, multiple techno-econnomic barriiers such as

a refuellingg,

hydrogen storagee, infrastructture investm

ment and safeety must be aaddressed.

Carbon Neutral Bioofuels. It is an alternativve pathway that employys the use of


modiified internaal combustion

n engine. Biiofuels can bbe carbon neeutral or evenn negative, iif

they are produceed from biom

mass using renewable/al


lternative noon-fossil eneergy sourcess.



Carbon neutral biofuels have huge potential in achieving the goal of low carbon

economy as in most cases; carbon neutral biofuels can simply replace fossil fuels

without major changes to the infrastructure (Omae 2006; Aresta et al. 2010).

Nevertheless, the implementation of carbon neutral biofuels will require major initiatives

and intensives from the governments.



The planet earth cannot restore the imbalance caused by anthropogenic activities

such as growing release of CO2 in the atmosphere via use of fossil fuels. If the carbon

emission is not mitigated or neutralized in time, the adverse effects of global warming

due to higher level of GHGs can be severe. Fortunately, the current momentum of

research/development and initiations taken by international community is a positive note

in the direction of restoration of the environment. Several novel as well as wellestablished technologies for CCS are gradually becoming mainstream pathways for

fighting climate change.

Utilization of CO2 for the production of synthetic fuels, chemical feedstock,

polymers, and polycarbonates are some exemplary steps. CO2 has been successfully

transformed into methanol, synthesis gas, and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels to compete

with petroleum products. On the other hand, CO2 also has great potential as a feedstock

for industrially important chemicals such as formic acid, formic acid esters, formamides,

other hydrogenation products, carbonic acid esters, carbamic acid esters (urethanes),

lactones, carboxylic acids. Developments in polymer science have paved way for

fixation of CO2 as commercial polymeric materials. The thermodynamic stability of CO2

requires efficient metal catalysts to achieve economically feasible conversion processes.

The recent literature is full of novel catalyst systems for CO2 transformation, thereby,

proving the potential of future use of CO2.

Low carbon economy is based on CCS and sustainable energy production

technologies. International community is in unison of need for low carbon global

economy and taking all possible steps to achieve this goal. Therefore, nowadays, low

carbon uses are also considered to measure modernization and development of any

nation. However, risks associated with carbon capture and sequestration in deep ocean,

geological formations are significant and pose challenge to the implementation of low

carbon economy on a global basis. Utilization of diversified alternative energy resources

such as biofuels, solar, wind, tidal, nuclear, geothermal could provide more feasible

ways of mitigating carbon emission as well as energy security for the future generations.





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Carbon Dioxide Capture Technology for

Coal-powered Electricity Industry

C. M. Kao, Z. H. Yang, R. Y. Surampalli, and Tian C. Zhang



Many different sources contribute significant amounts of carbon into the

atmosphere, including combustion, industrial processes, respiration and decay, and

volcanic activities This has caused the buildup of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the

atmosphere and also resulted in the global climate change. It is well known that carbon

dioxide (CO2) is the main GHG, contributing to the greenhouse warming effect by 81%

(VGB 2004), and fossil-fuel-burning power plants are the single-largest contributor to

CO2 emission. Therefore, innovative technologies for capturing CO2 from these

fossil-fuel-burning power plants and storing it in geologic formations, that is, carbon

capture and storage (CCS), have been developed. CCS is a process consisting of the

separation and capture of CO2 from industrial and energy-related sources, transport to a

storage location and long-term isolation from the atmosphere (IPCC 2005; Plasynski et

al. 2009; Wang et al. 2011; Padurean et al. 2012; Zhang and Surampulli 2012).

Currently, CCS has become one of the major methods to reduce the CO2 emissions to the

atmosphere and mitigate the deterioration of global warming. To establish significant

CCS capabilities, more efforts are necessary to make the CCS technologies more

applicable, practical, efficient, and cost effective.

The focus of this chapter is on CO2 capture technology for the coal-fired power

plants as coal-fired plants emit significantly more CO2 than natural gas plants. This topic

has been addressed and researched/reviewed since the early 1940s (e.g., Tepe and Dodge

1943; Spector and Dodge 1946; Riemer et al. 1993; USDOE 1999; Herzog 2001;

Anderson and Newell 2003; VGB 2004; IPCC 2005; IEA 2009; Lackner and Brennan

2009; CCCSRP 2010; ITF 2010). However, information related to the topic is

overwhelming and difficult to digest. Therefore, this chapter will serve as an

introductory guideline to the topic. Specifically, the chapter will discuss the basic

principles of CO2 capture technologies, the major approaches and alternatives to




capturing CO2, the current issues and future perspectives. The chapter also provides a

list of references for the audiences who need detailed reviews of CO2 capture

technologies and cutting-edge research.


CO2 Capture Technologies

8.2.1 General Means for CO2 Capture

CO2 capture technologies themselves are not new. In the 1940s, chemical

solvents (e.g., monoethanolamine (MEA)-based solvents) were developed to remove

acid gases (e.g., CO2 and H2S) from impure natural gas to boost the heating value of

natural gas. The same or similar solvents were used to recover CO2 from their flue gases

for application in the foods-processing and chemicals industries by power plants. On the

other hand, the feasibility of capturing CO2 from ambient air was evaluated in the 1940s

(Tepe and Dodge 1943; Spector and Dodge 1946). Carbon dioxide removal technology

has been developed and used as a standard process in gas production industry (e.g.,

natural gas, hydrogen gas). Carbon dioxide needs to be removed before the product can

be used and sold. Therefore, many CO2 removal systems have been constructed and

operated in these gas production plants (Plasynski et al. 2009).

Carbon capture technologies can be categorized as a) physical/chemical and

biological technologies (Table 8.1) and b) technologies for carbon capture from

concentrated point sources and mobile/distributed point- or non-point sources (Table

8.2). On-site capture is the most viable approach for large sources and initially offers the

most cost-effective avenue to sequestration. The remainder of this chapter will mainly

cover CO2 capture technologies for the coal-fired power plants, that is, the physical and

chemical (sorption-based) technologies for capturing CO2 from post-, pre- or

oxy-combustion processes from coal-fired plants. Those interested in carbon capture via

biological technologies or from mobile/diluted point- or non-point sources are directed

to elsewhere (e.g., Zhang and Surampalli 2012).

8.2.2 CO2 Capture Technologies for Coal-fired Power Plants

The choice of a suitable technology for CO2 capture depends on power plant

technology as it dictates the characteristics of the flue gas stream. In a fossil-fuel power

station, coal, natural gas or petroleum (oil) can be used to produce electricity. Table 8.3

shows the variety of power plant fuels and technologies that affect the choice of CO2

capture systems. As shown in Table 8.4 (VGB 2004), of the fossil-fuel plants, for a fixed

amount of fuel feed, coal-fired plants emit about twice as much CO2 as natural gas

plants, and thus, will be the focus for us to introduce CO2 capture technology.

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