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Evaluating Regeneration Options of Solid Amine Sorbent for CO2 Removal

Bos, Martin J., Kroeze, Vincent, Sutanto, Stevia, Brilman, Derk W. F.
Industrial & engineering chemistry process design and development 2018 v.57 no.32 pp. 11141-11153
adsorption, air, biogas, carbon dioxide, case studies, desorption, energy efficiency, energy use and consumption, fermentation, fossil fuels, heat, hydrogen sulfide, inventories, models, process design, sorbents, temperature
Biogas is one of the most popular alternative energy resources to replace fossil fuels. The product of anaerobic fermentation in a digester contains several impurities such as H₂S and especially CO₂ that needs to be removed in order to upgrade the gas quality. Supported amine sorbents (SAS) might provide an attractive option to remove these impurities. However, little is known about the regeneration of the sorbent. This study evaluates experimentally and by modeling the options for regeneration of the SAS. Theoretically, pressure swing adsorption without purge flow is the most energy efficient method (1.7 MJ/kg CO₂). It was found that when using a purge flow the desorption rate is strongly influenced by the equilibrium between the gas and adsorbed phase. With elevated temperature (>80 °C) both the working capacity and the productivity increase significantly. Finally, an energy evaluation for a typical biogas case study is carried out, showing the trade-offs between power consumption, heat demand, and sorbent inventory. Interestingly, at the expense of a somewhat higher power consumption, the use of inexpensive air as purge gas at 60 °C could be an attractive option, but case-specific costs are needed to identify the economic optimum.