Capturing CO2 in the IGCC process

Coal is the most abundant and cheapest fossil fuel in existence. At the same time, it is the most concentrated source of CO2, with its largest point source being coal power plants. As such, the most effective way to prevent global warming while maintaining coal as an energy source is to capture CO2 right at the plant. Integrated gasification combined cycle with carbon capture and sequestration (IGCC/CSS) is one of the most promising routes to fulfill this goal. However, the current solvent-based CO2 capture process needs to operate at a fairly low temperature. This significantly decreases the overall energy efficiency of plant since the gas stream must be cooled, captured, then reheated. Zan Liu is working on finding a solid material to capture CO2 at the preexisting warm temperature of IGCC plants. He has tried to explore new sorbent materials using a custom-built sorption apparatus and has found one promising candidate material. A multi-bed pressure swing adsorption (PSA) process has also been simulated to study the effectiveness of the material. The application of the material and PSA process will potentially increase the energy efficiency of IGCC power plants and diminish the impact of coal plants on global warming.