CO2CRC continues to build on its long-standing history of developing innovative gas separation and CO2 capture systems at a range of scales from laboratory to demonstration scale.
Field-testing, demonstrating and validating cost-effective capture technologies for high CO2 emitting industries.
CO2CRC’s research has focused on the development and field trials of a range of CO2 separation techniques to lower the cost of CO2 capture through improved materials, reduction in energy use and the development of compact, robust hybrid capture solutions. The program has focused on:
- Solvent-based systems: Solvents systems remain the industry benchmark. CO2CRC has investigated the operating conditions of pre- and post-combustion systems with the aim of reducing energy usage using carbonate and amine-based systems. The research in this area led to the development of a novel potassium carbonate capture system that resulted in several world-wide patents and is now being commercialised by UNO Technology. The research in solvents was expanded to include investigations using membranes in conjunction with solvents (membrane-contactor technology) to deliver lower energy usage, lower environmental footprint and lower cost.
- Gas separation membranes: Membrane systems have the potential to provide significant capture cost reductions and are suited to natural gas processing under high pressure provided they offer a high permeance, good selectivity and are robust. CO2CRC has worked on developing new membrane materials and systems for CO2 separation, understanding the impacts of impurities on membrane processes, the effects of plasticisation and patented techniques for fabricating CAP (continuous assembly of polymers), thin film composite membranes and hollow fibre membranes.
- Solid adsorption products and processes: There is significant potential for adsorption processes to separate CO2 from methane in applications such as natural gas processing where the high pressure can provide the driving force for the separation.
- Cryogenic and hydrate gas separation processes.
These gas separation and capture technologies have been tested and trialled for both pre-combustion and post-combustion capture in field conditions to verify their performances in the presence of real world impurities – using either flue gas from Australian coal fired power plants or high CO2 content natural gas at CO2CRC’s Otway National Research Facility under high pressure conditions. The next stage of our research will further evaluate the cost and practical performance of membrane and solid adsorption materials and processes in high-pressure applications. The potential to apply new materials to natural gas systems will also be investigated.
CO2CRC’s current key areas of focus include:
- Investigating compact CO2 separation technologies for offshore and high pressure applications which build on the outcomes of the research program centred around the pilot capture plant installed at the Otway National Research Facility in late 2016 to test and field trial new membrane and adsorbent capture materials. Results indicate that further material development and good system design is likely to result in membrane and adsorbent processes that would be competitive for a range of high-pressure industrial application.
- The development of membrane gas-solvents contactors as a novel, hybrid carbon capture technology for post combustion capture.
- Investigating ways to translate novel CO2 separation processes for use in the production of hydrogen from fossil fuels.