This paper describes research and development activities at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada on " Optimization of CO2 Extraction Process Technologies". The ultimate goal of this research is to develop better and more effective CO2 separation processes which can he used to recover CO2 from industrial sources such as coal-fired power plants and coal gastification complexes at the lowest possible capital and operating costs. The research program has been supported by Saskatchewan Power Corporation, Saskatchewan Energy and Mines, Prairie Coal Ltd., the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET). Fluor Daniel Inc. (USA.), Sulzer Chemteeh (Switzerland), Wascana Energy Inc., and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Currentlv, six parallel and complementary projects have been carried out at the Process Systems Laboratory. These projects are:

  • Searching for new sterically hindered animes for high capacity absorption carbon dioxide,

  • Formulation of high carbon dioxide absorption capacity Solvents using chemical and physical absorbents,

  • Searching for high performance random and structured packings for absorption and regeneration towers,

  • Studies of material corrosion by gas treating solvents (including the use of corrosion inhibitors).

  • Parameter estimation of gas absorption with chemical reaction processes using optimization techniques,

  • Process optimization and cost studies of co-production of CO2 and electricity using co-generation concepts.

Results and progress of these research projects will be reported. Their economics and technical feasibility Will be described and their practical implications will be discussed.


A large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) is being produced from industrial sources such as coal-fired power plants and is suspected to be a major contributor to the greenhouse effect and global warming To overcome the CO2 emission problem, there is great interest, especially in Western Canada, in capturing carbon dioxide and utilizing it as a flooding agent for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) This approach for solving the problem would have two important benefits:

  • we can market the captured Cal as a commodity chemical for generating revenue and

  • we will be able to reduce CO2 emission to the atmosphere and help alleviate a serious environmental problem at minimum cost.

A significant number of economic evaluations of C02 production from coal-fired power plants ha\'e been reported in recent years. The most significant ones are from the lEA greenhouse gas R&D program [1] and AOSTRA [2]. Based on current technologies, the reports have shown that the gas absorption with a chemical reaction process using amine is the most cost effective and has the best proven operability record. However, these studies have also concluded that the cost is still relatively high for producing CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) applications, under the current crude petroleum market. A major reason for the high cost is that the solvent used in these studies is monoethanolamine (MEA). This solvent has a high rate of absorption: however, it introduces a variety of practical problems including: (i) it requires a large amount of steam or heat for regeneration because of its low absorption capacity:

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