New material captures 90+ percent of carbon dioxide in tests

A material developed for a different purpose has shown in tests that it can capture more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from emissions.

The sorbent, called BrightBlack™, was originally developed by Advanced Technology Materials Inc., a subcontractor participating in US Department of Energy (DOE) tests. The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has found the material can capture as much as 95 percent of carbon dioxide, and lasts through multiple absorption-regeneration cycles with little to no degradation.

In tests, the process has also been shown to be less energy-intensive than other, more typical carbon dioxide-capture strategies that use compounds called amines to remove CO2 from gas.

Carbon capture is considered vital to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel-based power plants. One typical 500-megawatt, coal-fired power plant can emit 2 million to 3 million tons of CO2 every year.

The Southern Research Institute, which is working with NETL, expects to soon finish one phase of its research into carbon capture using BrightBlack™. After that, researchers hope to develop a way to scale up the process and build a pilot-sized unit — 0.5 megawatts or more — for further testing.

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