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Chemical looping: a carbon capture technology for the future

By Colin Scholes

Chemical looping, a low carbon technology for the fossil fuel industry, is increasingly been viewed as a competitive technology in carbon capture and storage, with the successful completion of pilot plant trials in the USA.

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As the world increasingly transitions to a low-carbon economy, it is becoming important for fossil fuel-based industries to develop ways to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. To do this many fossil fuel-based industries, and in particular coal-based power stations, are promoting carbon capture and storage (CCS). This is where the CO2 generated from coal combustion is separated from the power station’s flue gas and sequestered for long-term storage. The advantage of CCS is that it enables existing infrastructure and industries to meet carbon emission reductions while continuing to operate into the medium-term future.

In CCS, one of the key technology barriers is developing separation technologies that can produce a pure CO2 product for sequestration. Currently, most approaches focus on separating CO2 from the flue gas being emitted from a power station’s chimney.

This is an energy intensive approach, as they are trying to separate CO2 from a range of other gases, such as nitrogen, oxygen and water vapour. Hence, up to 25% of the power station’s output can be required to separate and purify the CO...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Colin Scholes is a Research Engineer at the University of Melbourne. This article was originally published at The Conversation.