High-solids, mixed-matrix hollow fiber sorbents for CO₂ capture
Pandian Babu, Vinod Babu
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Post-combustion carbon capture, wherein the CO2 produced as a result of coal combustion is trapped at the power plant exhaust, is seen as a bridging technology to reduce CO2 emissions and combat climate change. This capture process will however impose a parasitic load on the power plant and technologies need to be developed to minimize this energy penalty. This research focuses on a technology which uses solid sorbents fashioned into a hollow fiber form that allows water-moderated thermal cycling as a means of trapping CO2 from flue gas. While hollow fiber technology has intrinsic advantages over competing liquid amine and packed bed technologies, the materials used to fabricate hollow fibers and the fabrication process itself need to be optimized in order to result in competitive, robust hollow fiber sorbents. This dissertation focuses on the material selection process for each component of the hollow fiber platform and discusses ways to optimize the fiber and barrier layer formation. Different materials were evaluated to function as the solid sorbent, the matrix polymer and the barrier layer; and eventually their performance was measured against past work in this area.