Published: February 14, 2011

FREELANCER, CARBON CAPTURE JOURNAL

Svante – CO₂ Capture for $15 Per Tonne

Svante Inc. (Formerly Inventys Thermal Technologies) has developed a gas separation technology that it claims enables carbon dioxide to be captured from industrial flue gas streams for US $15 per tonne of CO2. Called the VeloxoTherm™ process, it has the ability to recover the heat energy evolved during adsorption and use it to help release the CO2.

The VeloxoTherm™ (velox = fast; therm = thermal) gas separation process is a post combustion carbon dioxide capture technol­ogy that has been developed by Svante Inc. The breakthrough gas separation technology enables carbon dioxide to be captured from industrial flue gas streams for 15US$ per tonne of CO2. Svante Inc. is in the process of commercializing the technology for the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) market.

The VeloxoTherm™ process is an intensified temperature swing adsorption process that uses a proprietary structured adsorbent to separate CO2 from almost any industrial flue gas stream. Simply put, a structured adsorbent is a sorbent material which is arranged into a monolithic structure. The structured adsorbent used in the VeloxoTherm™ process resembles a honeycomb that preferentially traps CO2 while allowing other gases such as nitrogen and water vapor to pass through it. The favorable balance between hydraulic and transport properties achieved by structured adsorbents significantly increases the gas throughput of the system for a given amount of adsorbent (the specific productivity of the adsorbent). This intensification enables the VeloxoTherm™ TSA process to manage the very large volume of gas that must be processed from industrial flue gas streams encountered in post combustion CO2 capture applications.

How it Works

Fixed bed adsorption processes, like the VeloxoTherm™ process, can be intensified (made to be smaller and to be more efficient) by increasing the feed rate to the process by decreasing the cycle time of the process. The extent to which this approach can be implemented is limited by the pressure drop, mass transfer, and heat transfer characteristics of the adsorbent reactor, all of which are not favorable for a traditional arrangement of adsorbent – packed beds. The shortcomings of packed bed reactors inherently limit the performance of conventional sorbent systems and therefore these systems are not considered to be bona fide alternatives for the post combustion capture of carbon dioxide. Properly designed structured adsorbents can overcome the limitations of conventional sorbent-based separation processes and greatly enhance their performance and economics (Figure 1).

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