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C-Capture, a spin out company from the School of Chemistry, have worked closely together to develop highly innovative solvent systems for the removal of CO2 from gas streams. These could be from large scale point sources such as power stations to smaller scale applications such as biogas upgrading technologies.

The strong team Caspar Schoolderman, Doug Barnes, Gergely Jakab and David Lawlor, led by Prof. Chris Rayner, describe the process as a highly effective, low energy approach for the removal of CO2 from methane gas streams, particularly biogas from anaerobic digestion and landfill. Such upgrading of biogas, C-Capture said, is very important to increase the methane content to levels suitable for renewable energy applications, including electricity generation, as a transport fuel and for injection into the gas grid.

Importantly the new process uses between 50-90% less energy than current technologies, and is also expected to be cheaper to install and run. It is currently being demonstrated in real environments using their portable containerised module capable of separating up to 1 tonne of CO2 per day.

This technology has proved so successful that the team has just won the title of the Shell Springboard National Winner, out of 140 worldwide entries to the competition. The company receives a total of £150,000 as prize money, as well as the prestige and publicity associated with winning such a highly competitive national award.

The company’s longer term objective is to apply the technology to industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) applications and fossil fuel power stations.