BASF and U.S. research institute RTI International have developed a new technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from waste gases emitted by coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources. The development project is sponsored by a $2 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The award is part of the DOE's stimulus-funded initiative focusing on energy-related research projects.
Efficient solvents are essential for the CO2-capture. The two partners will work on novel non-aqueous solvent systems that can be recycled. The capture process could use 40% less energy than conventional amine-based processes. Coal-fired power plants produce 50% of the electricity generated in the United States and contribute about 36% of all the carbon dioxide emissions in that region or 1.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually.
"This new process for capturing carbon dioxide would keep the United States at the forefront of advanced energy and greenhouse gas control technologies," says Dave Myers, vice president of the Engineering and Technology Unit at RTI. "Working with BASF, a global leader for gas treatment technologies, will also provide a path for rapid commercialization of the technology so that we can have cost competitive clean energy production from coal-fired power plants."