Special Issue "Carbon Capture and Utilization"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. José C.M. Pires
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
LEPABE - Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, Rua Dr Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: air pollution; CO2 capture; climate change; microalgal cultures; process modelling; statistical analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ana Luísa Gonçalves
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
LEPABE—Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
Interests: biotechnological applications of microalgae; CO2 capture; wastewater treatment; bioenergy production; circular economy; process sustainability; process integration; photobioreactor design; microalgal biomass production; high-valued compounds production

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere have drastically increased in the past decades, with the energy and transport sectors representing the major fractions of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This increase, which can be translated to a 50% increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration since pre-industrial levels, has been associated with several negative environmental impacts, such as the increase of greenhouse effect, global warming, and ocean acidification. Therefore, it becomes urgent for world economies to reduce their CO2 emissions, reduce carbon intensity associated with the energetic and transport sectors, and adopt effective CO2 capture techniques.

Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) combines CO2 capture and recycling. There are several sustainable CCU options: (i) biological CO2 capture with biomass valorization; (ii) use of CO2 as geothermal working fluid; and (iii) electrochemical reduction of CO2; among others. This Special Issue on Carbon Capture and Utilization aims to present an overview of currently applied techniques for CO2 capture and applications, focusing on their advantages and disadvantages and on the main challenges towards their large-scale application.

Prof. Dr. José Carlos Magalhães Pires
Dr. Ana Luísa Gonçalves
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • air pollution 
  • climate change
  • CO2 capture and utilization
  • CO2 utilization
  • biological methods 
  • biomass valorization 
  • geothermal utilization 
  • electrochemical methods

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Oxy-Fuel Combustion Characteristics of Pulverized Coal under O2/Recirculated Flue Gas Atmospheres
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041362 - 17 Feb 2020
Abstract
Oxy-fuel combustion is an effective technology for carbon capture and storage (CCS). Oxy-combustion for coal-fired power stations is a promising technology by which to diminish CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the oxy-combustion characteristics affected by the combustion atmosphere. [...] Read more.
Oxy-fuel combustion is an effective technology for carbon capture and storage (CCS). Oxy-combustion for coal-fired power stations is a promising technology by which to diminish CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the oxy-combustion characteristics affected by the combustion atmosphere. This paper is aimed at investigating the oxy-fuel combustion characteristics of Australian coal in a 0.3 MWth furnace. In particular, the influences of various oxygen flow rates and recirculated flue gas (RFG) on heating performance and pollutant emissions are examined in O2/RFG environments. The results show that with increases in the secondary RFG flow rate, the temperatures in the radiative and convective sections decrease and increase, respectively. At a lower oxygen flow rate, burning Australian coal emits lower residual oxygen and NO concentrations. In the flue gas, a high CO2 concentration of up to 94.8% can be achieved. Compared to air combustion, NO emissions are dramatically reduced up to 74% for Australian coal under oxy-combustion. Note that the high CO2 concentrations in the flue gas under oxy-coal combustions suggest great potential for reducing CO2 emissions through carbon capture and storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Utilization)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Radial Flow Contactor for Ambient Air CO2 Capture
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 1080; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10031080 - 06 Feb 2020
Abstract
Direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 can address CO2 emissions from distributed sources and produce CO2 from air virtually anywhere that it is needed. In this paper, the performance of a new radial flow reactor (RFR) for CO2 adsorption [...] Read more.
Direct air capture (DAC) of CO2 can address CO2 emissions from distributed sources and produce CO2 from air virtually anywhere that it is needed. In this paper, the performance of a new radial flow reactor (RFR) for CO2 adsorption from ambient air is reported. The reactor uses a supported amine sorbent and is operated in a batch mode of operation or semi-continuously, respectively without or with sorbent circulation. The radial flow reactor, containing 2 kg of the adsorbent, is successfully scaled up from the experimental results obtained with a fixed bed reactor using only 1 g of the adsorbent. In the batch operation mode, the sorbent in the annular space of the RFR is regenerated in situ. With sorbent circulation, the RFR is loaded and unloaded batchwise and only used as an adsorber. A sorbent batch loaded with CO2 is transported to and regenerated in an external (fluid bed) regenerator. The RFR unit is characterized by a low contacting energy (0.7–1.5 GJ/ton-CO2) and a relatively short adsorption time (24–43 min) compared to other DAC processes using the same types of sorbents. The contactor concept is ready for further scale-up and continuous application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle
CO2 Capture by Alkaline Carbonation as an Alternative to a Circular Economy
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(3), 863; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10030863 - 27 Jan 2020
Abstract
In order to combat global warming and climate change in a sustainable way, it is necessary to capture the anthropogenic CO2 emitted by different industrial sources and use it as a raw material to obtain a matrix of products for industrial use, [...] Read more.
In order to combat global warming and climate change in a sustainable way, it is necessary to capture the anthropogenic CO2 emitted by different industrial sources and use it as a raw material to obtain a matrix of products for industrial use, such as metal carbonates. Therefore, this work presents the results of CO2 capture and conversion into carbonates using Sr and Ba alkaline solutions in a semi-continuous batch reactor. The results indicate that the effects of morphological characterization, purity of solids, and reaction time at ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure conditions is an inexpensive alternative process that is easily implemented in small industrial enterprises. The results yielded a 40% conversion of CO2 at the best reaction conditions with an aqueous solution of Sr(OH)2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle
Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Mortars and Concretes Made with Portuguese Cements
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10020646 - 16 Jan 2020
Abstract
As the cement industry continues to address its role in the climate crisis, Portugal’s cement industry has started to calculate its net CO2 emissions to become an entirely carbon neutral sector. These emissions are calculated by simply subtracting the total CO2 [...] Read more.
As the cement industry continues to address its role in the climate crisis, Portugal’s cement industry has started to calculate its net CO2 emissions to become an entirely carbon neutral sector. These emissions are calculated by simply subtracting the total CO2 uptake due to mortar and concrete carbonation from the total CO2 that is emitted during the calcination process (clinker production). However, the procedures given in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories to report GHG emissions do not contain any element that would grant this calculation method the status of an internationally recognized procedure. Therefore, some climate models are not accurate because they do not account for the carbon dioxide uptake due to concrete and mortar carbonation, as is evidenced in this paper. Climate models have improved since the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), but they can further improve by implementing carbon dioxide uptake by cement-based materials. In the present paper, a quick and easy method of evaluating net CO2 emissions is utilized (simplified method) along with an advanced method. Portuguese net CO2 emissions of the cement produced from 2005 to 2015 were calculated while taking carbon dioxide uptake during the service-life and end-of-life and secondary usage stages into account. Following the simplified method, 8.7 million tons of carbon dioxide were found to be uptake by mortars and concretes made with Portuguese cement over the ten-year period, in which 37.8 million tons were released due to the calcination process. In addition, an advanced method has been used to estimate the carbon dioxide uptake, which provided only slightly higher results than that of the simplified method (9.1 million tons). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Approach to Determining the Capacity of Ecosystems to Supply Ecosystem Services into Life Cycle Assessment for a Carbon Capture System
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10020622 - 15 Jan 2020
Abstract
In the life cycle assessment (LCA) method, it is not possible to carry out an integrated sustainability analysis because the quantification of the biophysical capacity of the ecosystems to supply ecosystem services is not taken into account. This paper considers a methodological proposal [...] Read more.
In the life cycle assessment (LCA) method, it is not possible to carry out an integrated sustainability analysis because the quantification of the biophysical capacity of the ecosystems to supply ecosystem services is not taken into account. This paper considers a methodological proposal connecting the flow demand of a process or system product from the technosphere and the feasibility of the ecosystem to supply based on the sink capacity. The ecosystem metabolism as an analytical framework and data from a case study of an LCA of combined heat and power (CHP) plant with and without post-combustion carbon capture (PCC) technology in Mexico were applied. Three scenarios, including water and energy depletion and climate change impact, are presented to show the types of results obtained when the process effect of operation is scaled to one year. The impact of the water–energy–carbon nexus over the natural infrastructure or ecological fund in LCA is analyzed. Further, the feasibility of the biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) from this result for Mexico is discussed. On the supply side, in the three different scenarios, the CHP plant requires between 323.4 and 516 ha to supply the required oil as stock flow and 46–134 ha to supply the required freshwater. On the sink side, 52–5,096,511 ha is necessary to sequester the total CO2 emissions. Overall, the CHP plant generates 1.9–28.8 MW/ha of electricity to fulfill its function. The CHP with PCC is the option with fewer ecosystem services required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Utilization)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Carbon Dioxide Uptake by Cement-Based Materials: A Spanish Case Study
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10010339 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” on 28 November 2019. Given that, climate change is a clear strategic issue all around the world. Then, greenhouse gas emissions are reported by each country to the United Nations Framework Convention [...] Read more.
The European parliament has declared a global “climate and environmental emergency” on 28 November 2019. Given that, climate change is a clear strategic issue all around the world. Then, greenhouse gas emissions are reported by each country to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) every year. In addition, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the “2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories” give the procedure to calculate and manage the national greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. However, these guidelines do not provide any method to consider the net carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere (released in clinker fabrication minus those due to concrete carbonation) by the Portland cement clinker industry. This topic should be implemented in the climatic models of the next IPCC assessment report. This paper provides an easy procedure of estimating net CO2 emissions proposed in the “recarbonation project” (simplified method); that is to say, carbon dioxide uptake during the service-life stage is considered as the 20% of the CO2 released by the calcination (process emissions), whereas the end-of-life and secondary usage is only the 3% of the CO2 released by calcination. The outcome of this study reveals that 31,290.753 tons of carbon dioxide will be absorbed by the cement-based materials produced in Spain with the cements manufactured from 2005 to 2015. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimization of the CO2 Liquefaction Process-Performance Study with Varying Ambient Temperature
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4467; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9204467 - 22 Oct 2019
Abstract
In carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) projects, the transportation of CO2 by ship can be an attractive alternative to transportation using a pipeline, particularly when the distance between the source and usage or storage location is large. However, a challenge associated [...] Read more.
In carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) projects, the transportation of CO2 by ship can be an attractive alternative to transportation using a pipeline, particularly when the distance between the source and usage or storage location is large. However, a challenge associated with this approach is that the energy consumption of the liquefaction process can be significant, which makes the selection of an energy-efficient design an important factor in the minimization of operating costs. Since the liquefaction process operates at low temperature, its energy consumption varies with ambient temperature, which influences the trade-off point between different liquefaction process designs. A consistent set of data showing the relationship between energy consumption and cooling temperature is therefore useful in the CCUS system modelling. This study addresses this issue by modelling the performance of a variety of CO2 liquefaction processes across a range of ambient temperatures applying a methodical approach for the optimization of process operating parameters. The findings comprise a set of data for the minimum energy consumption cases. The main conclusions of this study are that an open-cycle CO2 process will offer lowest energy consumption below 20 °C cooling temperature and that over the cooling temperature range 15 to 50 °C, the minimum energy consumption for all liquefaction process rises by around 40%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Utilization)
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis of Novel Heteroatom-Doped Porous-Organic Polymers as Environmentally Efficient Media for Carbon Dioxide Storage
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4314; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9204314 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The high carbon dioxide emission levels due to the increased consumption of fossil fuels has led to various environmental problems. Efficient strategies for the capture and storage of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide are crucial in reducing their concentrations in the environment. [...] Read more.
The high carbon dioxide emission levels due to the increased consumption of fossil fuels has led to various environmental problems. Efficient strategies for the capture and storage of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide are crucial in reducing their concentrations in the environment. Considering this, herein, three novel heteroatom-doped porous-organic polymers (POPs) containing phosphate units were synthesized in high yields from the coupling reactions of phosphate esters and 1,4-diaminobenzene (three mole equivalents) in boiling ethanol using a simple, efficient, and general procedure. The structures and physicochemical properties of the synthesized POPs were established using various techniques. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) images showed that the surface morphologies of the synthesized POPs were similar to coral reefs. They had grooved networks, long range periodic macropores, amorphous surfaces, and a high surface area (SBET = 82.71–213.54 m2/g). Most importantly, they had considerable carbon dioxide storage capacity, particularly at high pressure. The carbon dioxide uptake at 323 K and 40 bar for one of the POPs was as high as 1.42 mmol/g (6.00 wt %). The high carbon dioxide uptake capacities of these materials were primarily governed by their geometries. The POP containing a meta-phosphate unit leads to the highest CO2 uptake since such geometry provides a highly distorted and extended surface area network compared to other POPs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Capture and Utilization)
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