Pre-Combustion Capture – Calcium Looping (CaL)

Calcium looping technology employs abundant, cheap, and environmentally benign limestone-based sorbents that can be used in a cyclic process for CO2 capture. Moreover, CaL processes can be applied for both post-combustion CO2 capture from flue gas and in pre-combustion (gasification) CO2 capture processes. In the latter case, CaO is used for in-situ CO2 adsorption from syngas. At the same time, saturated sorbent in the form of CaCO3 can be regenerated at high temperature producing a concentrated CO2 stream ready for further processing and sequestration. Challenges to improving the performance of the process include developing improved sorbents, reducing loss of reversibility, process optimizing, circulation of particles, and to test fuel/sorbent interactions.

Materials Development: The decay in the CO2 capacity of natural sorbents underlines the need for the development of synthetic materials that maintain their CO2 capture capability. Synthetic sorbent instead of limestone and dolomite are economically feasible and exhibiting a longer lifetime in carbonation/ calcination cycles due to their lower sintering susceptibility. In 2013 Dr. Mahinpey secured an NSERC-strategic grant. The main objective of this work is to engineer better solid materials in an integrated gasification and calcium looping technology. This work integrates the expertise and state-of-the-art of three universities and four industries, and CanmetENERGY. The outcome so far, resulted in a fabrication of a highly stabilized mesoporous core/shell structured CaO based spheriform CO2 sorbents, for the first time.

Process and System Engineering. For meaningful assessment, the above materials require process and system level engineering tests. Attrition study using air jet apparatus reveals that the new shelled sorbent exhibits enhanced attrition resistance, which is also attributed to the novel core/shell design offering protection for the reactive core. Prof. Grace and Lim have decades of experience in fluidized bed, clean energy processes, and carbon capture. Professor Macchi’s expertise in multi-phase flow and his collaboration with CanmetENERGY will be instrumental for HQP. Macchi has no physical lab at the University of Ottawa, his work is carried out at CanmetENERGY and so could not have closer ties. Canmet has pilot scale facilities that allow the performance test for novel materials.

A Multidisciplinary Research Solution in Carbon Capture

Funded by NSERC