Dedicated facilities for CO2 capture and H2 storage

June 16, 2020

Carbon dioxide emissions from different sources are considered a major contributor to the overall greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.  Therefore, Carbon capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) has been recognized to contribute to reducing the CO2 emissions by 14-19%. This makes CCUS a very attractive technological option for carbon emissions reduction. Carbon capture and separation is the major element of the CCUS chain and could be integrated to different power generation and industrial systems. Even though, the conventional CO2 capture and separation technologies are well developed, these technologies have major challenges such as high-energy demand, limited capacity and high overall CO2 capture cost. As a strategic direction, the RICH center focuses on the development of advanced carbon capture technologies by investigating novel and more efficient materials and processes for CO2 capture. RICH activities in this area include emerging aqueous and organic solvents (DES, lean water, IL), novel solid adsorbents and hybrid systems.

Knowing that carbon management and hydrogen production are very closely connected, there is a growing interest in developing technologies for the carbonless production of H2 such as water splitting (electro- or photolytic) and H2S splitting. Although hydrogen has the highest energy per mass of any fuel, its low ambient temperature density results in a low energy per unit volume, therefore requiring the development of advanced storage methods that have potential for higher energy density. RICH works on establishing materials and processes for high-capacity, reliable-availability H2 storage including storage in porous media as well as evaluation of easily storable hydrogen carriers (e.g. ammonia).


In  addition to the advanced materials facilities and other shared and core labs at KU, RICH has specific state of the art facilities tailored-made for CO2 capture and separation research and materials for H2 storage, including:

  • Solvent Screening Setup (SSS): This set up consists of low pressure six parallel stirred tank semi batch (CSTR) reactors, designed to investigate the CO2 absorption performance. This performance is being evaluated by measuring the absorption capacity and the apparent rate of absorption. The set up offers a gas mixing system which could handle up to four different gases to simulate different gas streams and different CO2 partial pressures. In addition, it provides pressure, temperature, and flow rate control for each individual reactor. The gas stream is a continuous flow and the solvent is batch to be added to the 250 ml reactor.
  • The Vapor Liquid Equilibrium (VLE): This set up consists of one single semi batch CSTR, which is used to measure vapor-liquid equilibrium of a solvent in details at different temperature, pressure and CO2 partial pressure. The size of the reactor of this system is 600 ml, which is larger than those for the SSS reactor. This will allow more accurate measurement of the VLE data at different conditions. In addition, the VLE system could go up to slightly high pressure (6 bar) and high temperature (130 oC) to allow measurement at CO2 desorption conditions.
  • Packed bed reactor: Packed bed reactor was retrofitted to SSS system. This reactor is designed to test and evaluate the CO2 adsorption of a solid adsorbent for multiple CO2 adsorption-regeneration cycles.
  • Stopped flow meter: The stopped flow meter is used to analyze the kinetics of reaction in the liquid phase. For example, reaction between amine solution and water dissolved CO The variation of conductivity over time will be used for kinetics analysis.
  • Intelligent Gravimetric Analyzer (IGA)-ABR-DSMS: Dynamic modes sorption analyzer with integrated vapor generator and mass spectrometer. Breakthrough reactor & interface (working range: 0 to 500°C/ 10-6 mbar to 20 bar). The IGA can be used to determine both the equilibria and kinetics of sorption of real mixtures at a range of temperatures and pressures. Advanced Break through connected DSMS for breakthrough studies.
  • 3 Flex Multiport Physisorption/Micropore Analyzer (Micromeritics, USA): Fully automated, high throughput, 3-port physical adsorption analyzer for high definition analytical measurement for the determination of specific surface area and pore size distribution.