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Hybrid systems for CO2 capture

Department of Chemical Engineering

Prof M Trusler , , Wednesday, September 30, 2020 Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

In order to reach the goal of net zero CO2 emissions, it will be necessary to implement CO2 capture technologies is a wide variety of situations. One key factor is the concentration of the CO2 in the source, which varies from about 0.04 vol% for direct capture from the air to as much as 50% for some industrial flue gases. Although no single technology is suitable across this entire range there appear to be good prospects for combining different technologies into a hybrid system that is both more flexible and more cost efficient than conventional approaches. In particular, a two-stage hybrid capture process could offer great advantages when CO2 is to be captured from a very dilute source, such as the air, and concentrated to the high purity required for geological storage. The specific objective of this project will be to determine how best to combined processes based on adsorption onto solids with absorption into liquid solvents.

This PhD project will use advanced simulation tools to investigate two-stage processes in which CO2 is first captured from a dilute source and then concentrated to 95% purity in a second stage. The simulations will involve the optimal selection of the sorbents themselves (both solids and liquids) and the optimisation of the process in which these sorbents are deployed. Optimisation can be carried out in a way that both satisfies practical constraints and minimises cost (e.g. per ton of avoided emissions or their equivalent). This work will build upon the expertise of the investigator team in both materials for CO2 capture and chemical-engineering processes. Expected outcomes include (i) a new understanding of hybrid CO2-capture systems; (ii) the techno-economic assessments of alternative combinations of capture materials and capture processes; and (iii) the identification of the most favourable approaches based upon technologies that are commercially deployable in the near term.

Funding Notes

The PhD scholarship is available from October 1st 2020 for a period of 3.5 years and covers stipend, tuition fees and incidental costs. Applicants must qualify as ‘home’ students for fees purposes. They should hold or expect to obtain a First-Class Honours degree at Master’s level (or equivalent) in Chemical Engineering, another branch of engineering or a related science. The post is based in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London (South Kensington Campus). Informal enquiries about the post and the application process can be made to Prof Martin Trusler () by including a motivation letter and CV.

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