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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Optimisation of Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies

Currently Active: 
Yes

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves the separation of CO2 from emissions where it is then transported and stored away from the atmosphere. It is considered a transitional method that can mitigate against climate change as longer term sustainable solutions are researched and developed. In the mean time, significant research needs to be conducted to improve CCS performance and minimise the parasitic cost of the processes.

Project Overview

There are several forms of CCS technologies which are categorised into pre-combustion, post-combustion and oxyfuel technologies. Post-combustion technologies offer the greatest potential as they can be retrofitted to existing plants but the addition parasitic costs need significant reduction before the processes can be rolled out to a national level.

Absorption reactors are the most widely applied method. They mix the exhaust gases with a solution that absorbs and removes the CO2 and there are several pilot plants in operation. However, research continues to improve various parameters of the process such as type of solvent, operating conditions and structured packing designs which are used to expose the CO2 to the solution. Improving the designs of structured packing is something of particular interest to our group. We use computational multiphase models to understand the distribution of the solution on packing sheets and develop structural designs that maximise the absorption process. On the other hand modifying the sheets too much can significantly affect the pressure drop which incurs further operational expense to overcome. Our group tackles this problem at the different scales:

  • At the micro-scale - understanding near-plate flow characteristics and developing flow control measures that can maximise the surface area of the solution on individual sheets
  • At the meso-scale - modifying plate alignment and orientation to minimise the pressure drop factors between the sheets

Fig 3: Computational film thickness at Re = 134 and plate inclination of 60o compared to an experimental case at Re = 162 from the literature (taken from Hoffman et al., Chem. Eng. Res. and Des., 84(A2): 147–154)

Fig 4: Pressure drop predictions for various structured packing channel dimensions and sheet inclination angles using a develop pressure drop correlation.

Publications

Armstrong, L.M., Gu, S. and Luo, K.H. Dry pressure drop prediction within Montz-pak B1-250.45 packing with varied inclination angles and geometries, Ind. & Eng. Chem. Res., 52, 2013 4372-4378
Cooke, J.J., Armstrong, L.M., Luo, K.H. and Gu, S., 2013, Adaptive mesh refinement of gas-liquid flow on an inclined plane, Under review: Computers and Chemical Engineering
Cooke, J.J., Gu, S., Armstrong, L.M., and Luo, K.H. Gas-Liquid Flow on Smooth and Textured Inclined Planes, Proceedings of World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 2012

Fig 3
Fig 4

Associated research themes

REF Theme: Energy and Climate Change

REF Sub-theme: Reactive and multi-phase flow

Related research groups

Energy Technology

Staff

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