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Issue 8, 2010
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Comparative study of solvent properties for carbon dioxide absorption

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Several inexpensive and non-toxic solvents with low vapour pressures were investigated for their suitability as alternative solvents for the absorption of carbon dioxide from flue gas. The solvents include poly(ethylene glycol)s, poly(ethylene glycol) ethers, poly(ethylenimine) and glycerol-based substances. Solvent properties such as thermal stability, solubility of carbon dioxide and selectivity over nitrogen were investigated in a systematic study using a thermogravimetric analyser. Absorption results are reported for pure carbon dioxide and nitrogen as well as a mixture of both gases. Desorption and long-term sorption behaviour are also discussed. Glycerol and poly(ethylene glycol)s show a high solubility of carbon dioxide. Due to the high viscosity of the solvent, carbon dioxide absorption in poly(ethylenimine) is very slow in spite of the presence of favourable amine groups. PEG 300 was found to be the best solvent in this study and shows a high carbon dioxide solubility as well as good selectivity over nitrogen. The advantages of high stability, low solvent loss and low desorption energy of PEG 300 may outweigh its lower absorption capacity compared to the state-of-the-art solvent monoethanolamine, making it a potentially advantageous solvent for industrial carbon dioxide absorption processes.

Graphical abstract: Comparative study of solvent properties for carbon dioxide absorption

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Article information

10 Feb 2010
09 Jun 2010
First published
05 Jul 2010

Energy Environ. Sci., 2010,3, 1106-1113
Article type

Comparative study of solvent properties for carbon dioxide absorption

O. Aschenbrenner and P. Styring, Energy Environ. Sci., 2010, 3, 1106
DOI: 10.1039/C002915G

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