Design, development and operation of a integrated fluidized carbon capture unit using polyethylenimine (PEI) sorbents

[+] Author and Article Information
Ronald Breault

NETL US Dept. of Energy, 3610 Collins Ferry Rd., Morgantown, WV

Lawrence J. Shadle

NETL US Dept. of Energy, 3610 Collins Ferry Rd., Morgantown, WV

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039317 History: Received July 27, 2017; Revised December 14, 2017


This paper presents the design, development and operation of a reactor system for CO2 capture. Modifications were implemented to address differences in sorbent from 180 ?m Geldart group B to 115 ?m Geldart Group A material; operational issues were discovered during experimental trials. The major obstacle in system operation was the ability to maintain a constant circulation of a solid sorbent stemming from this change in sorbent material. The system consisted of four fluid beds, through which a polyamine impregnated sorbent was circulated and adsorption, pre-heat, regeneration, and cooling processes occurred. Pressure transducers, thermocouples, gas flow meters, and gas composition instrumentation was used to characterize thermal, hydrodynamic, and gas adsorption performance in this integrated unit. A series of shakedown tests were performed and the configuration altered to meet the needs of the sorbent performance and achieve desired target capture efficiencies. Methods were identified, tested, and applied to continuously monitor critical operating parameters including solids circulation rate, adsorbed and desorbed CO2, solids inventories, and pressures. The working capacity and CO2 capture efficiency were used to assess sorbent performance while CO2 closure was used to define data quality and approach to steady state. Testing demonstrated >90% capture efficiencies and identified the regenerator to be the process step limiting throughput. Sorbent performance was found to be related to the reactant stoichiometry. A stochastic model with an exponential dependence on the relative CO2/amine concentration was used to describe 90% of the variance in the data.

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