Patent Application Filed for a New Process for Carbon Dioxide Capture

An integrated carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration scheme includes three general steps: CO2 capture, transportation, and permanent storage. The vast majority of the fossil fuel-fired power plants, which are the most likely point sources for CO2 capture, generally produce diluted CO2 gas streams. Capture of CO2 from these sources is the most expensive step, consuming more than 70% of the total sequestration cost. Reducing the CO2 capture cost would clearly have the most significant impact on the economic performance of a sequestration process.

Two chemical engineers at the Illinois State Geological Survey have recently developed a novel process for capturing CO2 from coal-fired power plants. Preliminary economic analysis reveals that the CO2 avoidance cost of this process will be around $33/tonne compared with $55/tonne for the conventional amine-based processes. The Office of Technology Management at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign examined the invention disclosure submitted by the chemical engineers and concluded that the process contains sufficient intellectual properties and merit for U.S. patent application. A patent application entitled "Integrated Vacuum Absorption Steam Cycle Gas Separation" was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on May 8, 2007.