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Capturing carbon dioxide from seawater


Project description

In other to limit the global temperature increase to less than 2 C, carbon emissions from various sectors such as power and industry must be reduced. This is a challenging task due to the high costs of CO2 capture and process complexities associated with such technologies. Removing carbon directly from the air, known as direct air capture (DAC), is a difficult and energy-intensive process, given the very low concentration of atmospheric CO2.

In this project, we are investigating the feasibility of an innovative process to remove CO2 from seawater - a media that holds higher concentrations of CO2 compared to air. The final gas stream will have a much higher concentration of CO2, comparable to the flue gas generated at a gas-fired power plant. This higher concentration would make the separation a less energy-intensive process compared to direct air capture, due to an increased "concentration" driving force.

The designed process aims to remove 100 tonnes of CO2 per year and therefore, accelerates the transition towards a net-zero-carbon future.

The team comprises experts from Brunel University London (Dr Salman Masoudi Soltani), the University of Exeter (Dr Paul Halloran - project lead) and Plymouth University (Dr Thomas Bell), as well as our industrial partner, TP Group PLC (Mr James Thomas and the team).

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Salman Masoudi Soltani - I am a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor in the US system) in Chemical Engineering. In May 2017, I joined Brunel University London as a founding member of the new Chemical Engineering Department, on the team in charge of the design and development of the Programme. I did my BSc (2005), MSc (2008) and PhD (2014; University of Nottingham) in Chemical Engineering. I am a Chartered Engineer (CEng/MIChemE) with both industrial and academic research backgrounds in chemical and process engineering. I am also a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA), UK, and the Undergraduate Programme Coordinator with the Department of Chemical Engineering.  My research area is mainly centred on Separation Processes as well as Process Modelling and Design. I am currently leading a number of major research projects on and around carbon capture and hydrogen production, funded via Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC), and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) - the details of which have been included under the "Research" tab of this profile. Before joining Brunel University London, I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Department of Chemical Engineering (Clean Fossil & Bioenergy Research Group) at Imperial College London, UK (07/2015 – 05/2017), contributing to several EPSRC as well as EU- and OECD-consultancy projects (Opening New Fuels for UK Generation; Gas-FACTS; CO2QUEST) in the realms of biomass combustion and the modelling and optimisation of CO2 capture & utilisation processes - in Professor Paul Fennell's research group and in collaboration with Professor Niall Mac Dowell and Professor Nilay Shah. In March 2017, I received the prestigious endorsement as the Exceptional Talent in Chemical Engineering by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK. Prior to this, I worked as a Postdoctoral Knowledge Transfer Partnership Research Associate with Dr Shenyi Wu (Fluids and Thermal Engineering Research Group) at the University of Nottingham, UK (08/2013 – 07/2015), during which, I was fully based at A-Gas International ltd. production site in Bristol (UK), where I worked as a Project/Process Engineer on a major joint engineering research and detailed process design project, involving the research, front end engineering design (FEED) and development of a bespoke industrial-scale gas separation process. I was awarded The University of Nottingham Scholarship to study for a PhD in Chemical Engineering. I conducted my research with the Department of Chemical & Environmental Engineering at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus where I studied the effects of pyrolysis conditions on the structure of nano-carbon from recycled waste and the effect of subsequent surface modification on heavy metal removal from aqueous media.