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Increased carbon dioxide absorption rates in carbonate solutions through surfactant addition

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2013, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 95-99

Spigarelli, B.P.; Hagadone, P.C.; Kawatra, S.K.


 To meet the growing need for CO2 capture and storage technology, Michigan Technological University is researching CO2 capture and storage using carbonate solutions. The objective of the present study was to increase the absorption rate of CO2 into the carbonate solution without reducing the absorption capacity of the solution. This approach used a polypropylene glycol methyl ether (PPGME) as a surfactant to chemically alter the gas bubble size. Experiments were conducted to study the absorption rate of CO2 at varying surfactant concentrations of 0, 0.12, 0.24, 0.36 and 0.48 g/L. Results showed that as the concentration of surfactant increased in solution, the absorption rate also increased. The CO2 absorption rate increased from 3.45 mmol/min CO2 at 0 g/L PPGME to 3.92 mmol/min CO2 at 0.48 g/L PPGME. This amounted to a 14% increase in the CO2 absorption rate with no decrease in absorption capacity of the solution.