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Title: Bench Scale Thin Film Composite Hollow Fiber Membranes for Post-Combustion Carbon Dioxide Capture

GE Global Research, Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and Western Research Institute (WRI) proposed to develop high performance thin film polymer composite hollow fiber membranes and advanced processes for economical post-combustion carbon dioxide (CO2) capture from pulverized coal flue gas at temperatures typical of existing flue gas cleanup processes. The project sought to develop and then optimize new gas separations membrane systems at the bench scale, including tuning the properties of a novel polyphosphazene polymer in a coating solution and fabricating highly engineered porous hollow fiber supports. The project also sought to define the processes needed to coat the fiber support to manufacture composite hollow fiber membranes with high performance, ultra-thin separation layers. Physical, chemical, and mechanical stability of the materials (individual and composite) towards coal flue gas components was considered via exposure and performance tests. Preliminary design, technoeconomic, and economic feasibility analyses were conducted to evaluate the overall performance and impact of the process on the cost of electricity (COE) for a coal-fired plant including capture technologies. At the onset of the project, Membranes based on coupling a novel selective material polyphosphazene with an engineered hollow fiber support was found to have the potentialmore » to capture greater than 90% of the CO2 in flue gas with less than 35% increase in COE, which would achieve the DOE-targeted performance criteria. While lab-scale results for the polyphosphazene materials were very promising, and the material was incorporated into hollow-fiber modules, difficulties were encountered relating to the performance of these membrane systems over time. Performance, as measured by both flux of and selectivity for CO2 over other flue gas constituents was found to deteriorate over time, suggesting a system that was more dynamic than initially hypothesized. These phenomena are believed to be associated with the physical and mechanical properties of the separation material, rather than chemical degradation by flue gas or one of its constituents. Strategies to improve the composite systems via alternate chemistries and processing techniques were only partially successful in creating a more robust system, but the research provided critical insight into the barriers to engineering sophisticated composite systems for gas separation. Promising concepts, including a re-engineering of the separation material with interpenetrating polymer networks were identified which may prove useful to future efforts in this field.« less
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  1. General Electric Global Research, Niskayuna, NY (United States)
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  3. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
  4. Western Research Inst., Laramie, WY (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
General Electric Global Research, Niskayuna, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States