Energy efficient capture of CO2 released from coal based power plants is a major challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The existing commercial technologies require substantial energy inputs in the form of heat and vacuum which leads to around 30 % parasitic energy loss. To overcome this problem a novel electrochemical process is developed to efficiently capture CO2 from flue gas and then release (desorb) pure CO2 at atmospheric pressure without requiring heat, vacuum, or consumptive chemical usage. The process uses a proprietary resin wafer based Electrodeionization (RW-EDI) technique to shift the pH of the process solution from basic in the capture chamber to acidic in the release chamber. The base/acid pH shift drives the CO2 capture/release process and catalysts (enzyme or inorganic) are used to enhance kinetics. The goal is to demonstrate 90 % capture of CO2 from synthetic flue gas (15 % CO2) and subsequent release of CO2 with 90 % purity in the released stream. Recent bench-scale experimental results will be presented showing significant progress towards this goal. Water chemistry (CO2 hydration/dehydration), mass transfer issues (gas-liquid interaction) and kinetic limitations (capture/release rates) associated with the process will be discussed in detail. Funding for this project is awarded by US Department of Energy ARPA-E to Nalco Company and Argonne National Laboratory.
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