SBIR Phase I: Photochemical reactor for CO2 separation in carbon capture process

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1046629
Agency Tracking Number: 1046629
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Pearlhill Technologies, LLC
616 S Adam Ln, Idaho Falls, ID, 83401-4629
DUNS: 800333002
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Bamidele Omotowa
 (208) 523-2266
Business Contact
 Bamidele Omotowa
Title: PhD
Phone: (208) 523-2266
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will prove the feasibility of using a photolytic process to separate carbon dioxide (CO2) from monoethanolamine (MEA) scrubbers for carbon capture in power plants. This innovation is based on verified studies showing that photolysis reactions are faster and use significantly less energy than thermal reactions. The carbon-capture process begins when MEA is used to scrub CO2 from flue gas. The CO2-rich MEA is then sent to a chamber where it is heated to 100-120 oC to remove CO2 for sequestration. Using the current state-of-the-art thermal process to capture CO2 in a coal-fired power plant requires burning 30 % more coal to produce the same amount of electricity, increasing the cost of energy by 81 %. By proposing to use a photolytic reaction to separate CO2 from MEA, Pearlhill is not just improving the current thermal reaction process, but taking CO2 separation technology in an entirely new direction with significant cost saving potential. The broader/commercial impact of this research could drastically reduce the massive energy demand to capture CO2 from power plant flue gas. Building on the current MEA technology has dual benefits. First, for existing coal-fired power plants where MEA technology is employed, Pearlhill?s photolytic process has the potential to be retrofitted, since only the thermal unit must be replaced. Second, using a photolytic instead of the energy-intensive thermal process could reduce the energy costs for carbon capture by over 30 %, saving power plants and ultimately end-users millions of dollars.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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