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Title: Intensified post-combustion carbon capture using a pilot scale rotating packed bed and monoethanolamine solutions
Author: Kolawole, Toluwanimi Oluwatomiwo
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 6466
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2019
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Post-combustion carbon capture with the rotating packed bed (RPB) is an alternative way of industrial carbon capture that offer considerable advantages in comparison to conventional absorption columns. Due to the enhancement of mass transfer by harnessing high gravity (HIGEE) forces within the RPB, absorbers that are more compact can be designed for CO2 capture. This will result in significant cost savings in size and space required. This thesis deals with the experimental study of three different RPB gas-flow modes (counter-current, co-current and cross-flow) for CO2 capture with aqueous monoethanolamine (MEA) solutions. A systematic study was carried out on a newly constructed RPB to determine the performance of each gas-flow contact mode for CO2 absorption from simulated flue gas. The important operation parameters for the CO2 absorption experiments were the rotational speed, liquid-gas (L/G) ratios and the MEA concentration that were varied within the typical industrial range for CO2 scrubbing from flue gas. In addition, the gas phase was saturated, as would be the case for industrial flue gas. The performance of the RPB configurations was evaluated with respect to overall gas mass transfer coefficients (KGa), the CO2 capture efficiency, height of transfer unit (HTU) and the pressure drop. Furthermore, a commercial scale-up design using the experimental results was carried out to determine the absorber sizes of the RPB configuration to be deployed for an industrial CO2 capture case study. The results clearly show that the each of the variables influenced CO2 capture efficiency, overall mass transfer coefficient and HTU values. It was also found that the gas flow mode of the RPB had an effect on the liquid flow properties within the RPB. It also influenced the effective contact between the liquid and gas thereby affecting the mass transfer performance. An important conclusion from the experimental study is that the counter-current showed the best performance for mass transfer, CO2 capture efficiency and HTU due to it being the RPB mode that best harnessed the HIGEE forces within the RPB. This is because it possesses the greatest driving force for mass transfer and better liquid-gas contact due to the countercurrent contact of the liquid and gas. The cross-flow RPB also displayed the best performance with respect to pressure drop and better performance than the co-current RPB did. The experimental results were utilized for sizing a RPB absorber for an intensified CO2 capture demonstration plant from industrial flue gas. The design results showed that the ii counter-current RPB was the preferable design with respect to deriving maximum mass transfer advantages for commercial deployment but it has the drawback of high pressure drop. The cross-flow had the most compact RPB absorber size and provided the lowest pressure and power consumption. This shows that the cross-flow RPB is a viable alternative to the counter-current RPB for commercial CO2 carbon capture. However, designing a crossflow RPB is more challenging.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available