Case 13586

A process and system for separation and capture of carbon dioxide from water


Carbon dioxide sequestration, CO2, multi-stage flash cascade, pipeline transport, multi-stage compression, water purity, recompressed gases, pipeline storage, carbon capture, integrated gasification combined cycles, solid oxide fuel cell


Separating anode gases exiting a fuel cell where waste products are water and CO2 gases at medium to high pressure. Also applicable to exhaust gases of a similar composition from oxycombustion and chemical looping technologies.


Existing methods to remove CO2 from fuel gases (such as solvent-based absorption, specially designed selective membranes, calcination, and condensing oxidation waste gases at low pressures) are often expensive, hazardous, or inefficient. Achieving CO2 purities suitable for transport as a supercritical fluid in a pipeline is also difficult.


This invention describes a process and system for separation and capture of CO2 from water. A vapor stream containing CO2 and water is separated using a multi-stage flash cascade in conjunction with multi-stage compression and condensation. Additional cooling and flash steps can optionally be employed to help remove atmospheric gases such as nitrogen and argon from the feed. CO2 is condensed and pressurized to purities suitable for pipeline transport and eventual storage in geological formations, and water is recovered at high purity. Additionally, a novel power generation process incorporating the technique is described, achieving high efficiency and zero emissions.

  • More energy efficient separation and zero emissions
  • Higher purity water
  • No special solvents or membranes required
  • Removal of incondensable gases such as nitrogen and argon

This technology achieves both efficiency improvement of power plants and carbon capture and sequestration by reducing the parasitic load required to capture and pressurize the CO2 (compared to the prior art), and by providing sufficient purification for pipeline transport to a geological sequestration site.

  • Professor Paul Barton (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)
  • Thomas A. Adams II (Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

U.S. Patent Application Number 12/434486, filed May 1, 2009


T. A. Adams II and P. I. Barton, High-efficiency power production from natural gas with carbon capture, 2009, Journal of Power Resources, doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2009.10.046.

MIT News: A Greener Way to Get Electricity from Natural Gas (December 2009)

Last revised:November 8, 2010

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