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By Princeton University
We have developed a computational method to discover cost-effective materials for carbon capture and discovered a sorbent that costs 25% less than any other technology while avoiding up to 90% of carbon emissions from a coal-fired power plant.
Short description of your technology
We have developed a computational method to discover cost-effective materials for carbon capture. Using our method, we have identified several new sorbents with lower process costs than state-of-the-art carbon capture materials. Our best sorbent offers a typical 500 MW coal-fired power plant savings of $30 million/year versus the standard sorbent used in pressure-swing adsorption systems. Our technology avoids up to 90% of power plant CO2 emissions, drastically reducing the risks associated with severe climate change. In addition to carbon capture, our method opens vast possibilities for applications in other industrial separations including air separation, ethylene and propylene production, natural gas purification (CO2, methane), hydrogen recovery, and xylene separation.
What is the key element of your technology that differentiates it from existing solutions
Our approach is unique in that it combines material selection and process optimization to screen databases of zeolites and metal-organic frameworks for sorbents that satisfy design constraints with minimum process cost. We have demonstrated that considering either the material or process in isolation is insufficient to obtain the most cost-effective solution. In addition to identifying the best material, we have determined an optimal process design that recovers at least 90% of CO2 from power plant exhaust with at least 90% purity, suitable for pipeline transport, utilization in enhanced oil recovery, or geological sequestration. Our computational approach is general and can be applied to any molecular separation to discover cost-effective materials.
Eric First is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University and a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellow. He graduated from Cornell University in May 2009 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science. Eric joined the Computer-Aided Systems Laboratory in January 2010 where he is advised by Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas. His thesis work focuses on developing algorithms to elucidate physical properties of microporous materials, such as zeolites and metal-organic frameworks, by studying the geometry of their underlying crystal structures. His research is driven by the goal of discovering novel materials for applications in separations and catalysis.
Faruque Hasan is a Postdoctoral Research Associate advised by Professor Christodoulos A. Floudas in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University. He earned his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering with honor at Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 2005. He completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2010. For his Ph.D. work, he was awarded the Ph.D. Prize in Environmental and Sustainability Research from the World Future Foundation. After completing his Ph.D., he started as a research fellow at NUS where he was involved in the design and optimization of an adsorption-based pilot plant for carbon capture. He was also a visiting researcher at Qatar University and Qatargas Operating Company Ltd. in 2006 and 2007. He joined the Computer-Aided Systems Laboratory at Princeton University in September 2011 where his research is focused on the computer-aided design and optimization of carbon capture and hybrid energy processes.
Christodoulos Floudas is the Stephen C. Macaleer '63 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University, Faculty in the Center for Quantitative Biology at Princeton University's Lewis-Sigler Institute, Associated Faculty in the Program of Computational and Applied Mathematics at Princeton University, Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University, and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. He earned his B.S.E. in 1982 at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, completed his Ph.D. in December 1985 at Carnegie Mellon University, and joined Princeton University as a faculty member in February 1986. Professor Floudas is a world-renowned authority in mathematical modeling and optimization of complex systems and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. His research interests lie at the interface of chemical engineering, applied mathematics, and operations research, with principal areas of focus including chemical process synthesis and design, process control and operations, discrete-continuous nonlinear optimization, local and global optimization, computational chemistry, and molecular biology.