New materials could slash energy costs for CO2 capture
In a new study, researchers found that commonly used industrial minerals called zeolites could significantly improve the energy efficiency of carbon capture technology. Research was conducted by scientists at Rice University, the University of California, Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). All zeolites are highly porous and the pore sizes and shapes vary depending upon how the silicon and oxygen atoms are arranged within the minerals. The pores act like tiny reaction vessels that capture, sort and spur chemical reactions of various kinds, depending upon these size and shapes. The study found dozens of zeolites that could remove CO2 from flue gas for a lower energy cost than amines could.