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Capturing CO2 with CarboLock™ hollow fiber contactor (HFC) technology

A versatile technology to purify natural gas and capture CO2 from flue gas is being developed by GTI and Air Liquide Advanced Separations. The CarboLock™ hollow fiber contactor (HFC) technology can utilize either physical and chemical solvents or a mixture of solvents to capture CO2 with application-specific hollow fibers as a phase boundary between the gas and liquid, and the technology can dramatically improve process economics for all absorption systems. It offers significant economic advantages with smaller size and lower cost than conventional options. It enables gas processing for floating LNG platforms where stringent gas quality is combined with compact configurations. It also can be used in natural gas pipeline applications, and is ideal for stranded gas locations, permafrost environment, or construction in remote areas.

In projects for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Illinois Clean Coal Institute (ICCI), and industry partners, laboratory and slipstream tests demonstrated the technology met specific gas separation performance targets for numerous applications, including pre-combustion carbon capture from syngas and post-combustion CO2 capture from flue gas.

The post-combustion application was evaluated in the field at a Midwest Generation coal-fired power plant in Romeoville, IL, that demonstrated greater than 90% CO2 removal with 97% CO2 product purity.

With funding of $10 million provided by the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL), GTI will test CarboLock at a 0.5-MWe (10 ton CO2/ day) scale on a flue gas stream at the National Carbon Capture Center. A techno-economic analysis (TEA) study showed the estimated cost of CO2 capture using the hollow fiber contactor technology in conjunction with commercial and developmental solvents may reduce the cost of capturing carbon 25% below the current DOE benchmark cost of CO2 capture.