|Since our inception in 2009, BCIA has funded a variety of carbon capture projects – and provides assistance to help these research activities turn into demonstration and deployment of novel low emissions uses of brown coal. We are delighted to report that a new company has been established to take forward one of the BCIA-funded technologies, together with a range of globally relevant CO2 capture technologies derived from work done at both the University of Melbourne and Monash University through the CO2CRC. Barry Hooper explains.|
|By Barry Hooper, Director of UNO Technology P/L|
|In April this year a new Victorian company emerged in the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) space, through the signing of a deal between CO2CRC and UNO Technology Pty Ltd. Commercial deployment of CCS will be essential for the transition of fossil fuels to a carbon neutral future in the second half of the 21st century. |
|UNO Technology and its principals, who have been involved in and committed to, the drive for low emissions CCS solutions for many years, are enthusiastic at the opportunity to continue the next stage of developing and scaling up the technologies. |
The UNO Technology suite is based on potassium carbonate absorption/stripping solvent processes which have many benefits over current technologies applied in the coal and other fossil fuel industries. These include low cost, low energy usage, low environmental life cycle impacts and the potential for revenue from both by-products and valuable chemical commodities.
This world-leading research has produced seven international patents in the USA, Canada and Australia, with others pending. The work is founded on the need to drive down costs of capture and to do so across the three key themes of:
- providing novel capture processes
- equipment that is fit for purpose to the new world of bulk CO2 removal, and
- the need for well integrated process designs
|The UNO Technology patents and ideas address each of these areas and details can be found at our website (www.unotech.com.au). |
This work has developed over many years through basic research here in Victoria within the CO2CRC’s partner universities and then on to lab and plant based trials which were also strongly supported by the BCIA and Victorian Government funding. UNO Technology has expertise in four key areas, outlined as follows.
Process 1: Liquid Potassium Carbonate Solvent Systems
| The UNO MK 1 & 2 processes selectively remove carbon dioxide from both post and pre-combustion applications. Plant based trials have been completed in both applications demonstrating oxygen and high temperature tolerance, low volatility and minimal environmental impact. In particular the pre-combustion version of the technology takes the well proven potassium carbonate technology to new territory, providing improved thermodynamic separation efficiency and process integration opportunities previously unidentified in IGCC applications. |
Process 2: Precipitating Potassium Carbonate Solvent System
|UNO MK 3, the flagship of the UNO suite, selectively removes carbon dioxide from both post- and pre-combustion applications using a slurry form of the potassium carbonate process. Costs are anticipated to be 50 per cent less than the current best amine technologies due to the low energy of regeneration, low raw material cost, low solvent loss and replenishment requirements, smaller equipment, removal of pre-treatment equipment and multi-impurity capture of SOX and NOX. Preliminary work also suggests it can be beneficially applied to emerging power technologies such as DICE.|
There are minimal health and safety risks associated with the UNO process as it uses a chemically benign solvent akin to baking soda. It exhibits low environment impact with low volatility, low emissions and low carbon footprint and performs better than amine-based solvents on a broad range of environmental indicators. Potassium can be diverted from the fertiliser production chain to the UNO MK 3 process for CO2 capture and returned as potassium sulphates and nitrate fertilisers (see Figure 1 on next page).
|To continue reading about the UNO Technology, go to the next page of this e-newsletter.|