Cement manufacture accounts for as much as 7% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A new hybrid technology being developed at Sintef (Tronheim, Norway; www.sintef.no) promises to make it easier and less expensive to capture and purify C02 from the fluegas of cement plants. The technology, which combines membrane separation and “forced liquification” of C02, can be retrofitted to an existing plant.

Sintef researchers anticipate that the method can be utilized by cement factories and in other industrial processes in coastal areas and along European rivers, because liquefied CO2 can be transported by ship.

Normally, the fluegas emitted from a cement factory contains about 20 vol.% C02. In order to transport or store the C02 from these gases, the C02 has to be captured and concentrated to a minimum of 95% purity. However, conventional scrubbing technology requires large amounts of heat for regenerating solvents.

In Sintef’s hybrid approach, membrane separation is first used to generate 70% purity C02. Then, an in-house developed system is used to liquefy the C02 by cooling it under pressure. In a laboratory test rig, the system has achieved a C02 purity of up to 99,8%. The process uses electricity to cool and compress the gas. instead of steam to regenerate solvents, which is important for facilities lacking a steam generator.

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