Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has partnered with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited to design and develop a highly energy-efficient plant for carbon dioxide capture from power plants.
In a communique, IIT Guwahati has stated that this technology, which works on flue gas using a newly activated amine solvent (IITGS), consumes up to 11% less energy compared to commercial activated MDEA (Monoethanolamine) solvent and up to 31 percent less energy compared to benchmark MEA (Monoethanolamine) solvent.
The indigenous technology was developed by a research team led by Bishnupada Mandal, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati. It has the potential to save a lot of foreign exchange for the nation.
Bishnupada Mandal, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati, said, “The increase in anthropogenic CO2 emissions is one of the reasons attributed to global warming. Extensive research efforts are being made by the scientific community to overcome this global challenge that includes modifications to existing technologies through efficiency improvement for CO2 capture.”
According to IIT Guwahati, the outcomes of this project will benefit oil, natural gas, biogas industries, and petroleum refineries. This project, through its research and education, will support and strengthen the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well.
After successful completion of test studies, the pilot plant has been shifted to NTPC’s NETRA facility. IIT Guwahati Team and NTPC Limited are in the process of patenting the technology. This development has the potential impact to combat global climate change. The next phase of the study will involve the testing of pilot-pant using industrial flue gas.
The MEA and other proprietary solvent-based technologies are available for CO2 capture in the chemical industry. This technology is utilised in coal and gas-fired power plants mainly to produce food-grade CO2 in small quantities (compared to CO2 capture in power plants). However, IIT Guwahati claims the process is energy-intensive, if adopted for large-scale CO2 capture in power plants. It has developed an energy-efficient amine-based process for CO2 capture from flue gas.
The growth in the electricity sector is a prerequisite to achieving India’s ambitious policy goal of ‘Electricity for All’ and maintaining significant growth in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). At the same time, India supports global efforts toward the research and development of technologies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. This technology will help achieve both of these goals simultaneously.