(111f) 3-D Printing As a Tool in the Design of Gas-Liquid Contactors for CO2 Capture | AIChE

(111f) 3-D Printing As a Tool in the Design of Gas-Liquid Contactors for CO2 Capture


Bara, J. - Presenter, University of Alabama
Neuberger, D. T., University of Alabama

In order to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants, and mitigate their impact on global climate change, DOE has called for technologies that can capture at least 90% of CO2 emissions from an existing coal-fired power plant with no more than a 35% increase in the cost of electricity (COE).  One process design approach with the potential to achieve these goals is through the use of advanced gas-liquid contacting devices which enable more efficient capture of CO2with reduced process footprints.  However, more cost-effective construction methods and rapid prototyping are needed to deploy these technologies and meet DOE goals.

3-D printing is an “additive” fabrication technique which can offer unprecedented advantages in accelerating the design cycles of gas-liquid contacting devices, minimize manufacturing costs, and expedite deployment timeline for CO2 capture in the field.  Functional prototypes can be designed, fabricated and tested within a frame of 24 hours.  Because the design process is entirely software-based, devices can be parametrically varied so that effects of surface area, pressure drop, porosity, etc. can be easily understood and used to develop improved devices.  The rapid and flexible feedback loop between design, fabrication and testing that can only be provided through 3-D printing will more quickly advance the peformances and lower the costs of novel gas-liquid contacting devices for COcapture.

This presentation will detail our progress in developing and applying gas-liquid contactors fabricated from 3-D printing techniques.  Specifically, we will discuss the advantages, challenges and possibilities relating to solvent-based CO2 capture processes.