ChemE Professor Badie Morsi's Research Higlighted in "Advances in Engineering"
Morsi's findings propose post-combustion CO₂ capture to produce high value nano materials
Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage is a critical technology in the fight against climate change. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming and climate change, and reducing its emissions is essential to mitigating the impacts of climate change. Nanotechnology, which involves manipulating materials at the nanoscale level, has shown great promise in the field of CO2 capture. Nanotechnology offers several advantages for CO2 capture. First, it allows for the development of materials with high surface area and high selectivity for CO2 adsorption. Second, it allows for the design of materials with tailored properties, such as high thermal stability and resistance to moisture. Third, nanomaterials can be used in a variety of CO2 capture technologies, including absorption, adsorption, and membrane separation. Examples of nanotechnology being used for CO2 capture is the development of metal-organic frameworks and carbon nanotubes. While preventive methods promote renewable energies and energy-efficient programs, mitigative methods focus on capturing CO2 from existing power plants and electricity generation sources, which accounts for about 42% of global CO2 emissions. Particularly, post-combustion CO2 capture and sequestration strategies are promising routes for industrialized economies owing to their benefits like high reaction rate, non-corrosive nature and low cost. However, these methods use chemical absorbents, which suffer from various inadequacies.
Importantly, it is possible to obtain valuable products during CO2 capturing process. In particular, producing sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) nanomaterials during CO2 capturing using Gly/NaOH solution has drawn significant attention. Due to their high commercial value, the resulting nanomaterials can be sold to offset the cost of the carbon-capturing process. This also presents a novel route for producing sodium bicarinate with a wide range of applications in different fields. In order to produce highly valuable NaHCO3 nanomaterials, it is imperative to develop innovative CO2 capture processes.
On this account, Rui Wang, Dr. Husain Ashkanani and Professor Badie Morsi from University of Pittsburgh together with Professor Bingyun Li from West Virginia University developed a novel process for CO2 capturing from a split flue gas stream emitted from post-combustion coal power plant. The split flue gas stream with a flow rate of 12.43 kg/s contained 0.0023 and 13.33 mol% of SO2 and CO2, respectively. The process comprised five main units designed to remove all SO2 and capture more than 90 mol% of CO2 in the flue gas stream while producing highly valuable NaHCO3 nanomaterials. Their work is currently published in the research journal, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control .
The authors analyzed the mass transfer characteristics, hydraulics and the process performance, levelized costs of the CO2 capture as well as the capital and operating expenditures to validate the feasibility of the proposed method. The process hydraulics obtained in the SO2 washing and CO2 capture units showed no flooding in both the countercurrent packed beds. The results for both the flue gas washing unit and CO2 absorber depicted greater gas-side mass transfer coefficients than liquid-side mass transfer coefficients. For instance, the hydraulics in the CO2 capture and SO2 washing showed a pressure drop of 1 kPa and 12 kPa, respectively. Additionally, the normalized specific wetted packing area and liquid holdup in both units exhibited similar behaviors.