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CO2? Capture it and turn it into methane!

October 21, 2019

The recent scholarly literature tends to show that Combined CO2 Capture and Methanation (CCCM) processes could emerge as one of the practical solutions in the context of CO2 emissions mitigation. Such strategies based on the combined CO2 capture on solid adsorbents and CO2 methanation on metal-based catalysts are both pertinent and practically achievable. This strategy could become relevant for effluents with high CO2 concentrations, operated under moderate flow rates, and where the production of “green” H2 is available on-site.

As we cover in our recent short review paper, both fields of CO2 adsorption and CO2 catalytic upgrading have seen enormous progress over the last decades; high-performance materials are now available both for capture and for methanation. Designing combined processes with distinct units for capture and for methanation is a first option that will mostly require process optimization. It allows to treat complex gas effluents on the one hand and to perform the methanation under “clean” conditions on the second hand. Processes where the two types of solids (adsorbent and catalyst) are combined in the same adsorption/methanation unit constitute a second option. In these cases, the catalyst not only has to exhibit high performance in its normal operating conditions (during methanation), but also has to withstand the operating conditions that are applied during the capture step (and vice versa concerning the adsorbent). Finally, a third strategy which is being intensely investigated is the use of dual functional materials (DFM), bearing both a capture function and a reduction function. The associated processes benefit from the proximity between the adsorption sites and the reduction sites, between which CO2 spillover can occur. Yet again, the development of efficient formulations is conditioned to the stability of both types of sites in the full cycle of capture and methanation.

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