CO2 Separation: an overview?

This data-file summarises six leading CO2-separation technologies. For each one, we outline the process, its technical maturity, costs, CO2-selectivity, energy-intensity and drawbacks. Our notes and workings are also included in subsequent tabs.

A $50/ton carbon price would be needed to incentivise more CCS, using today’s conventional, technically mature methods. The problem remains, that these means suffer from energy penalties of 15-30%.

Amines are the dominant solution for CCS, hence we have added a backup tab, reviewing the specific amine cocktails being commercialized  by specific companies, along with their energy intensity (chart below, bar color indicates technical readiness).

Metal Organic Frameworks could be a material breakthrough, with c60-80% lower costs and energy penalties. These remarkable materials can contain 10,000m2 of surface area in a single gram, with impressive tuning to adsorb specific gases. Our file contains new notes on MOFs, including the technology leaders: 4 listed companies, 5 start-ups and 225 patents from 2018-19.

Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells could also be a material breakthrough. They are unique in generating net energy while also concentrating CO2 for sequestration.

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