Environmental Transformation and Climate

Carbon Capture’s Next Top Model

Written by Staff Writer

Creating accurate, detailed models is key to scaling up carbon capture technology. Katherine Hornbostel is examining the various modeling approaches for hollow fiber membrane contactors (HFMCs), a type of carbon capture technology. The group analyzed over 150 cited studies of multiple modeling approaches to help researchers choose the technique best suited to their research.

“HFMCs are one of the leading technologies for post-combustion carbon capture, but we need modeling to better understand them,” said Hornbostel. “Our analysis can guide researchers whose work is integral to meeting our climate goals and help them scale up the technology for commercial use.”

A hollow fiber membrane contactor (HFMC) is a group of fibers in a bundle, with exhaust flowing on one side and a liquid solvent on the other to trap the carbon dioxide. The paper reviews state-of-the-art methods for modeling carbon capture HFMCs in one, two and three dimensions, comparing them in-depth and suggesting directions for future research.

Another project of Hornbostel’s utilizes microcapsule technology that may make post-combustion carbon capture cheaper, safer, and more efficient. The small size of the microcapsule gives the solvent a large surface area for a given volume. This high surface area makes the solvent absorb carbon dioxide faster, which means that slower absorbing solvents can be used.

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Paul Kovach

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Staff Writer