Design and Optimization of Post-Combustion CO2 Capture

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Virginia Tech

This dissertation describes the design and optimization of a CO2-capture unit using aqueous amines to remove of carbon dioxide from the flue gas of a coal-fired power plant. In particular we construct a monolithic model of a carbon capture unit and conduct a rigorous optimization to find the lowest solvent regeneration energy yet reported.

Carbon capture is primarily motivated by environmental concerns. The goal of our work is to help make carbon capture and storage (CCS) a more efficient for the sort of universal deployment called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to stabilize anthropomorphic contributions to climate change, though there are commercial applications such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

We employ the latest simulation tools from Aspen Tech to rigorously model, design, and optimize acid gas systems. We extend this modeling approach to leverage Aspen Plus in the .NET framework through Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM).

Our work successfully increases the efficiency of acid gas capture. We report a result optimally implementing multiple energy-saving schemes to reach a thermal regeneration energy of 1.67 GJ/tonne. By contrast, the IPCC had reported that leading technologies range from 2.7 to 3.3 GJ/tonne in 2005. Our work has received significant endorsement for industrial implementation by the senior management from the world's second largest chemical corporation, Sinopec, as being the most efficient technology known today.

Carbon capture, CCS, global warming, climate change, process engineering, process optimization, process modeling, Aspen Plus, C#, automation, COM, acid gas, CO2, carbon dioxide