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Techno-economics of waste-derived adsorbents in carbon capture

Despite commitments made by the UK government in 2019 in declaring a climate emergency and a target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the year 2050, the current trajectory is one of increased emissions, further warming and a potential breach of the 1.5°C average warming threshold as early as 2030.

Mitigation scenarios that achieve these ambitious targets rely on GHG emission reductions combined with net carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. Most assessment models are unable to find a solution to meet these targets without the deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies. BioEnergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) features in most of these scenarios.

The Energy Technologies Institute have estimated that by 2050, around 55 Mt of CO2 per annum could be removed by BECCS, half that of the UK’s emission targets in 2050. Adsorption for CCS is an attractive technology as its advantages include the ability for retrofitting to existing large point sources.

The driving force for research in the field of adsorption-based CCS is the reduction of CO2 capture cost by minimising energy requirements and improving efficiency, hence developing innovative and cost-effective adsorbents and their associated processes.

With an anticipated increase in biomass combustion, the co-generation of biomass combustion products (BCP) presents a significant social, economic and environmental burden. Owing to their distinct chemical properties, BCP have demonstrated potential for niche applications in adsorption-based CO2 capture.

In this project, we are investigating the viability of BCP valorisation in de-carbonisation of biomass combustion facilities such as those at Drax Power Plant, where the BCP has been sourced.

The project aims to probe into the techno-economics of the use of modified BCP-derived (in)organic adsorbents in post-combustion carbon capture via process modelling and simulation.

The collaboration with TP Group PLC, our industrial project partner and a leading UK company in CCS technologies, will reinforce the success of this project throughout its lifespan.

This study has been supported by the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) flexible funding research grant (EP/P026214/1). The UKCCSRC is supported by the EPSRC as part of the UKRI Energy Programme.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Salman Masoudi Soltani
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 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 Postgraduate Research Director with the Department of Chemical Engineering.  My research area is mainly centred on Separation Processes (Experimental & Process Design/Modelling). I have led 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 Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ), along with a number of industrial consultancy projects, the details of which have been included under the "Research" tab of this profile. In 2022, my research was featured in the prestigious Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)' magazine (The Chemical Engineer). You can find more about my research group & research laboratory by visiting my research group website. I am also serving as the technical advisor with JET Engineering (Anionix). 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 process design project, involving the research, front end engineering design (FEED), detailed design, 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 (2011 - 2014). 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 porous carbonaceous adsorbents synthesised from recycled waste, and the effect of subsequent surface modification on heavy metal removal from aqueous media. 

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Project last modified 02/10/2023