Jan 112011
 
Coal Power Plant B&W
Image by davipt via Flickr

The liquid can trap and hold two times more harmful gases by weight than the liquid absorbents currently being used

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has developed a reusable organic liquid that can remove harmful acid gases from emissions generated by power plants. The process could easily replace current industrial practices to help clean the environment in a way that is energy efficient, cost effective and saves on water.

“Reversible Acid Gas Capture” utilises organic liquids that, unlike current methods, require no water to bind with harmful acid gases such as carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide.

Resembling an oily compound, the liquid is made up of water and monoethanolamine, a basic organic molecule that grabs these acid gases at approximately room temperature. In addition to being reusable, the liquid can trap and hold two times more harmful gases by weight than the liquid absorbents currently being used in power plants. Scientists then heat the liquid to recover and safely dispose of these gases.

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