Meghan Funk 810 90 6949 February 23, 2011 CHEN 1000 Room Temperature Ionic Liquids in Carbon Capture The

release of carbon dioxide by power plants via flue gas contributes significantly to the excessive amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Over the past several decades, greenhouse gas emissions in general have been drastically increasing and creating a climate change on our planet. This climate change has caused people to realize that the release of carbon dioxide needs to be reduced in order to preserve our planet for future generations. Because of this, new technologies in the field of sequestration, or carbon capture and storage, are constantly being investigated. Carbon sequestration is “the process of carbon capture and storage, where carbon dioxide is removed from flue gases, such as on power stations, before being stored in underground reservoirs.” 1Flue gas comes from power plants; it is the exhaust that is created from the burning or combustion of a fossil fuel such as fuel oil or coal. Flue gas is a contributor to greenhouse gases because of its elements: water vapor, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide, among other particulate pollutants. Carbon sequestration is an important way that we can capture some of the carbon that is released by flue gas before it gets into the Earth‟s atmosphere and potentially causes long-term damage to our planet. One important form of carbon capture is called “gas sweetening.” Gas sweetening (also known as amine gas treating) is essentially a process in which hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide are filtered out from the flue gas. The hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide can then be captured and stored, so they are not released into the atmosphere where they are harmful to the Earth. The amine solution is a water-based mixture that the gas is filtered through to remove CO2. Although this process is effective, it is energy intensive and cuts down on the power plant‟s output and efficiency. Another method of carbon dioxide capture is by porous membranes, which work in a way similar to the gas sweetening method. Although the membrane method is less energy intensive than gas sweetening, it is an underdeveloped system and is not ready to be implemented universally. Because of the inefficiency of gas sweetening and the ineffectiveness of membranes, there is a motive to create a new carbon capture technology. Room temperature ionic liquids may just be the innovative technology needed in carbon sequestration. Room temperature ionic liquids (RTIL‟s) are highly versatile and could be integral to the development of new technologies in the capture of carbon dioxide from flue gases. “The desirable properties of RTIL solvents, such as negligible vapor pressures, thermal stability, and a large liquid range, make them interesting candidates as new materials in well-known CO2 capture processes.”2 Before diving into what exactly RTIL‟s are, it should be mentioned who is studying and advocating them. ION Engineering is a company based out of Boulder, Colorado and founded by researchers at the University of Colorado. Doctors Jason Bara and Dean Camper are the scientists at ION Engineering that pioneered this application of ionic liquids. The scientific article Room Temperature Ionic Liquids and Composite Materials: Platform
1 2

Carbon Sequestration, 2011, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_sequestration (February 2011). “Room-Temperature Ionic Liquids and Composite Materials: Platform Technologies for CO2 Capture," Accounts of Chemical Research, 16 January 2009, No. 1, Vol, 43.

meaning that at any temperature warmer than that. Room temperature ionic liquids will replace this aqueous solution used in gas sweetening. It is more efficient. Because RTIL‟s are a 3 ION Engineering Unveils New Technology to Capture and Control Greenhouse Emissions. The amine solution is sent in from the top of the column and the gas must pass through the solution before it is sent out the top of the column. The procedure is taking place in a large tube called a contactor column. 2008.youtube. Passing through the amine solution removes CO2 from the gas.”3 Figure 14 Figure 1 is a simple representation of the process of gas sweetening. 4 Principles of Amine Sweetening – sample.com/watch?v=wFhcoT3yqZs&feature=related (February 2011). and it enhances natural gas „sweetening‟ processes and will vastly increase access to worldwide natural gas reserves. The RTIL method will work virtually the same as the amine method. . is sent into the contactor column from the bottom and rises to the top. Camper. ionic liquids are thick colorless fluids. in the gas sweetening method used capture CO2 from flue gases.com/2009/02/20/ion-engineering-unveils-new-technology-to-capture-and-control-greenhouseemissions (February 2011). with ionic liquids in the place of the aqueous solution. this salt will be in its liquid form. The type of salt that these engineers are studying has an extremely low melting point at about -80 C. but from what we do know about it. ionic liquid is the liquid form of salt. it seems that ionic liquids could be a major technological breakthrough to take the place of amine solutions and membranes in the gas sweetening process. the filter that the gas passes through is water based and inefficient. February 18. Dr. March 12. Currently. The raw. Boulder. as the RTIL method is “the most efficient way to capture carbon from coal-fired plant emissions. unfiltered gas. http://ion-engineering. also known as “sour” gas. Most simply put. accessible and economical than the current method and it is ready to be commercialized. so the gas at the top is “sweetened” and okay to be released.Technologies for CO2 Capture was written by Dr. At room temperature. namely room temperature. There has been limited research on the RTIL method. http://www. 2009. Professor Douglas Gin and Professor Richard Noble from the department of Chemical and Biological engineering at the University of Colorado. Bara.

new technology. and from the lab research conducted. Room temperature ionic liquids are much more efficient than aqueous solutions at capturing carbon dioxide from flue gases and they are ready to be produced commercially. there are no serious limitations. there has been relatively little research done on them. Works Cited . From what we do know. but the rise in atmospheric CO2 proves that this method is not enough. and no long-term research done since they have been only put into effect in the past few years. Any steps that can be made towards more efficiently capturing CO2 before it is released into the atmosphere should absolutely be taken. concerns or negative aspects to implementing RTIL‟s. Amine gas sweetening is a method that has been used reliably for nearly an entire century. It seems obvious that RTIL‟s are the next step to producing cleaner energy and a cleaner planet.

com/2009/02/20/ion-engineering-unveils-new-technology-tocapture-and-control-greenhouse-emissions/>. “Principles of Amine Sweetening – sample. Dean E.. Douglas L. 23 February 2011.” Wikipedia. Camper.com. and Richard D. Web. Gin. < http://en.1 (2009): 152-59.org/wiki/Carbon_sequestration>. 2011. “Carbon Sequestration.youtube. 2008. "ION Engineering Unveils New Technology to Capture and Control Greenhouse Emissions: Ion Engineering. Web. March 12.wikipedia. < http://www.” YouTube.Bara. 23 February 2011. 2009. Print. Jason E. Web. Noble."Account of Chemical Research 43." Ion Engineering. <http://ion-engineering. .com/watch?v=wFhcoT3yqZs&feature=related>. 18 Feb. "RoomTemperature Ionic Liquids and Composite Materials: Platform Technologies for CO2 Capture. 23 February 2011.

.34408147 .4:3984102. ...7    #442 %02507.943 0-7:. #080.6:/8.7  4  '4   .7.7-43*806:0897.59:70 .8!.91472%0.3/4254890.907.3:.9:7043.

88009033574.039 #442902507.9-03986:/1472 9 7442902507.9.2.709:-0.20.6:/8.23084:9437024...79:.9:7.8 8009033 .344.8-003290/7080. 7 .3/   330073&3.6:04:884:943   %070.907-.339.08 174290.90/434.7920394102.3/ !74108847#.59:70.9 %0950418..34408147 .0/:708 9.7    995.72079...9:70.94-0700.439.3.04190.9:70 988.870807.908.8 8009033 574.8250705708039..0330073.883974:90.7.088-0.94.7-431742.207442902507.84343.-4:99  9800289.990 &3.890.88009033 2094/:80/.7089:/3.9.3097020420935439.6:/83905.99.08808.041.6:/8906:/1472418.-4:9  H 20.93.4:23 %07.974:949.59:70..8 84:7 . 170/ 5.3/90.9:7043...890#%2094/8 902489011.8.%0.078941447..99080 0330078..4470881:/8 :77039 390.039 .88009033 %0574.3/.098.7/4-0174290/05.8.35.3/202-7.39.4:23.943...59:70 17421:0...4:23 !.3/3011.9:7..990.4.083.59:70.0889447//03.6:/8705.879903-7 .947.03.4390#%2094/ -:91742.88974:9084:943-014709 880394:9909454190.3/44./4 4:/07   4898255:9 43.3/903.4790.8  8490... :319070/.0/.8808974:8..34494.808 9019079.-70.9...83.80/ %0#%2094/47 .8 .7.230 84:9438803931742909454190.039.893.230 84:9438.709.80/ .2302094/ 943.9909458 8009030/ .3/4397470034:80288438 0-7:.3/78089490945 %0.8 8803939490.947.9:70 43.390288438 .0905.08   :70    :708.2507 !741088474:.4:/-0.308390.80 .9434190574.3 902507..088 982470011.080%0.439.6:04:884:943:80/3..4:23174290-49942.70.3/4.6:/8.08841.85...82:895.

.

43 0330073 .42.

 .

.

 .

43 0330073 :3.08 30 90.250 ..    995.3/ .7.43974 70034:80 0288438 0-7:.7    !73.344 94 .50841230$009033 8.59:70 .

.

 4:9:-0 .42.

9:7070.9..90/ 0-7:.4%68 10..7    ..

09907080.59:73 -0147098700./094.9894 25020393#% 8   230.344 9070.808.07384730.-14730.89100.7-43/4/017421:0.9.0/ 0.90/434 .92485070 84:/.0.2470011.3/.80/39490.8-003:80/70.9248507.93905.9.702:.3/ 174290.-84:90-09..:80#% 8.3/90.42207..9438 .. 574.7070.3/3443 90727080. ..3075.3.7.43.42207.3-02...-7080.4:89.7090309890594574/:.090.03 #442902507.3 .2094/9.0/ .850..8-00370.78 742.0.303970 . 9800284-./94-0.:770392094/.7.7.390.6:/8. /43083.880090338.0-003435:93940110../43043902 . 3090.70./94-0574/:.9.9:7043.9982094/8349034: 3890589.3/9870.90/ 9070.9.0399..039:7 -:9907803.43/:..3070307.6:04:884:9438.70348074:829.7/82470011.0.4342.309                                    .039.0.7.9#% 8.59:73.9 .9.089.

#080.7.3 .91472%0.6:/8. .      !739   .   0- 0-7:.2507 4:.8!.9:7043.47890/  ..34408147  .843 0.3/#.7/ 4-0 #442 %02507..7.3/4254890.7-43$06:0897.8 3 .907.943 50/.7   995.4:394102..59:70 .

.

47.03 50/.

.

34494.080%0.59:70.7-43*806:0897.943    330073&3.3/4397470034:80 28843843330073 43330073 0-   0- 0-7:.7   995..

.

43 0330073 .42.

 .

.

 .

43 0330073 :3..344 94 .08 30 90.3/ .43974 70034:80 0288438.59:70 .

   !73.50841230$009033 8.7  995.250 4:%:-0 .   0-  0-7:.42 .7.

.

 4:9:-0 .42.

9:7070.4%68 10...9..90/   .