C-Capture CCS Technology

Thanks to Julie Richardson for the artwork and Ben Robertson for animation.
The image and movie (viewable on Flash compatible browsers only) are available free of charge for academic purposes with appropriate recognition; please email info@C-Capture.co.uk for further information.

Existing technology for CO2 capture

  • Current approaches to carbon capture and storage (CCS) include passing a power station’s flue gas through an amine based ‘solvent’ which chemically absorbs CO2.
  • Current processes utilise amine solvents, which temporarily react with CO2 and hold it in an aqueous solution, allowing other relatively unreactive gases (e.g. N2, O2) to pass through.
  • On heating up to 120ºC, the CO2-rich (loaded) solvent regenerates the CO2 as a gas stream, and the aqueous amine solution (CO2-lean) is re-circulated and cooled for reuse.
  • Related amine-based technology for separating CO2 (and sulfur-containing contaminants, H2S) from other gases has been used for many years for natural gas (e.g. methane, CH4) ‘sweetening’. C-Capture GSU technology offers an improved alternative for this application, as well as for biogas upgrading.
  • However, to have significant impact, post-combustion CCS is required on a much larger scale (>50x) than so far established, and is complicated substantially by the presence of other contaminants in flue gases (O2, SOx, NOx, Hg etc.).

C-Capture technology

  • Patented solvent technology for the reversible capture of CO2 from large-scale point sources, including power stations, steel and cement production, and fermentation.
  • Our approach is to introduce new amine-free solvent materials for CO2 capture with superior performance characteristics, whilst maintaining low cost to ensure commercial viability.
  • We focus on solvent systems with superior CO2 capture potential compared with current industry standards, which represent step change technologies that can significantly improve the overall efficiency and economics of the process, and hence reduce the cost and environmental impact.
  • Solvent testing is carried out in C-Capture’s pre-pilot scale solvent assessment facility located in Armley, Leeds and using facilities in Leeds Chemistry Department.
  • Our solvent technology is also suitable for other applications including capture of CO2 from other large point source emitters (e.g. cement and steel production), natural gas sweetening and biogas upgrading (see C-Capture GSU technology), and production of CO2 for consumer use.

Pre-pilot set-up

The laboratory results of C-Capture are verified by a well instrumented small scale absorption and desorption pre pilot scale set-up at our Leeds engineering facility. The chosen scale of this set-up, of 1 kg/h of CO2 being captured, is optimal for translating lab results to pilot scale (40 to 1000 kg/h CO2).

Top ten CO2 facts

The concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is now over 400 ppm (0.040%) by volume, rising from a pre-industrial maximum of around 300 ppm.
Drax power station (4000MW, ca. 7% UK supply) produces up to 50,000 tonnes CO2 per day.
A 750ml bottle of Champagne has a typical pressure of over 5 times atmospheric pressure and contains the equivalent of over 4 litres of CO2 under normal conditions
The body produces approximately 1 kg of CO2 per day per person, which equates to almost 29,000 kg of CO2 per person over a typical lifetime.
CO2 extinguishes flames, and some fire extinguishers, especially those designed for electrical fires, contain liquid CO2 under pressure.
A children’s sweet called Pop Rocks is pressurised with CO2 gas at about 40 bar (580 psi). When placed in the mouth, it dissolves (just like other hard sweets) and releases the gas bubbles with an audible pop.
Human activities such as the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation have caused the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to increase by about 35% since the beginning of the age of industrialization.
CO2 is an end product in organisms that obtain energy from breaking down sugars, fats and amino acids with oxygen as part of their metabolism.
Photosynthesis uses CO2 and water to produce sugars and occasionally other organic compounds, releasing oxygen as a waste product.
Plants can grow up to 50% faster in concentrations of 1,000 ppm CO2 when compared with ambient conditions.
Sources: beekmanwine.com and wikipedia.org