Scholarly article on topic 'CO2 capture technologies: An overview with technology assessment based on patents and articles'

CO2 capture technologies: An overview with technology assessment based on patents and articles Academic research paper on "Environmental biotechnology"

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Abstract of research paper on Environmental biotechnology, author of scientific article — Cristina M. Quintella, Sueli Akemi Hatimondi, Ana Paula Santana Musse, Sabrina Freire Miyazaki, Gabriela Silva Cerqueira, et al.

Abstract This paper presents the contextualized overview of the CO2 capture technology, with critical evaluation of state-of-art and technological development through patents applications and scientific articles. The scientific research and technological development and innovation of CO2 capture is mapped, providing not only an overview, but also concrete basis to define and optimize research and development (R&D) perspectives. It relates the stage of scientific, technologic and innovation development relate to the actions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to ensure the reduction of the global warming due to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. The yearly monitoring of actions is presented, focusing on scientific, technologic and innovation from governments and companies acting within various countries in an attempt to mitigate the effects of global climate change. The mapping of the capture technologies was focused on absorption, adsorption, membranes, cryogenic, enzymatic and hybrid. The capture technologies are also mapped according to the CO2 capture process (post-combustion, pre-combustion and oxy-combustion). The results are analyzed in terms of priority date, annual evolution of the patents portifolia, technology owners (country, continent, sector of society, companies, (R&D institutions), inventors and their countries, authors of scientific articles, article copyright owners, institutions and countries where the scientific research reported in the articles was performed, patent type (process, method, prototype, product, etc.), patents classification codes showing technologic trends and fields, type of gas source where CO2 is captured, type of processes and type of gas outputs after CO2 capture, details of the components and of the processes for each method capture, among other trends. The results are contextualized in terms of methods of CO2 capture processes, focusing on technology for IPCC, roadmaps, and government programs and strategies for reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. All the capture technologies are growing yearly, both in patent applications and in articles. Absorption and adsorption are the most used capture technologies, post-combustion is the most used capture process, and most of the patents refer to CO2 separation and removal. Most of the copyrights belong to Elsevier and American Physical Society, USA detains 52% of the patent applications and 31% of the articles published. The other patent applications belong mainly to Germany, France, Japan and United Kingdom. The countries with more aggressive appropriation policies are France, Norway, Germany, USA and Netherland. There is a strong correlation between countries of the technology owners and clear CCS government policies. The patent applications refer to over thirty entry gas currents, being focused on combustion and post combustion processes, followed by natural gas specification. New trends like Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC), Chemical Looping Reforming (CLR) are also focused.

Academic research paper on topic "CO2 capture technologies: An overview with technology assessment based on patents and articles"

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CO2 Capture Technologies: an Overview with Technology Assessment Based on Patents and Articles

Cristina M. Quintella*a, Sueli Akemi Hatimondi b, Ana Paula Santana Musse b, Sabrina Freire Miyazaki a, Gabriela Silva Cerqueiraa, Andréa de Araujo Moreira b

aLabLaser, Instituto de Química, Universidade Federal da Bahia; Campus de Ondina, Salvador, BA, CEP: 40.170-290, Brazil, b Petrobras/CENPES, Av. Horácio Macedo, 950 - C. Universitária - Ilha do Fundäo, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, CEP: 21941-915, Brazil

Abstract

This paper presents the contextualized overview of the CO2 capture technology, with critical evaluation of state-of-art and technological development through patents applications and scientific articles. The scientific research and technological development and innovation of CO2 capture is mapped, providing not only an overview, but also concrete basis to define and optimize research and development (R&D) perspectives. It relates the stage of scientific, technologic and innovation development relate to the actions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to ensure the reduction of the global warming due to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. The yearly monitoring of actions is presented, focusing on scientific, technologic and innovation from governments and companies acting within various countries in an attempt to mitigate the effects of global climate change. The mapping of the capture technologies was focused on absorption, adsorption, membranes, cryogenic, enzymatic and hybrid. The capture technologies are also mapped according to the CO2 capture process (postcombustion, pre-combustion and oxy-combustion). The results are analyzed in terms of priority date, annual evolution of the patents portifolia, technology owners (country, continent, sector of society, companies, (R&D institutions), inventors and their countries, authors of scientific articles, article copyright owners, institutions and countries where the scientific research reported in the articles was performed, patent type (process, method, prototype, product, etc.), patents classification codes showing technologic trends and fields, type of gas source where CO2 is captured, type of processes and type of gas outputs after CO2 capture, details of the components and of the processes for each method capture, among other trends. The results are contextualized in terms of methods of CO2 capture processes, focusing on technology for IPCC, roadmaps, and government programs and strategies for reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. All the capture technologies are growing yearly, both in patent applications and in articles. Absorption and adsorption are the most used capture technologies, post-combustion is the most used capture process, and most of the patents refer to CO2 separation and removal. Most of the copyrights belong to Elsevier and American Physical Society, USA detains 52% of the patent applications and 31% of the articles published. The other patent applications belong mainly to Germany, France, Japan and United Kingdom. The countries with more aggressive appropriation policies are France, Norway, Germany, USA and Netherland. There is a strong correlation between countries of the technology owners and clear CCS government policies. The patent applications refer to over thirty entry gas currents, being focused on combustion and post combustion processes, followed by natural gas specification. New trends like Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC), Chemical Looping Reforming (CLR) are also focused. ©2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords: CO2 capture, CCS, technological forecasting

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +55-71-88677876 or +55-71-88677876; fax: +55-71-32355166. E-mail address: cristina@ufba.br

ELSEVIER

doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2011.02.087

1. Introduction

The present paper relates the stage of scientific, technologic and innovation development related to the actions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to ensure the reduction of the global warming due to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. In fact, burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas are the main causes for the increased concentrations of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, the actions must be technology and socially wise in order not to destabilize the society, as fossil fuels supply more than 85% of the energy used worldwide.

Although the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) becomes the technological route for GHG emissions mitigation, contributing to a quicker and safer stabilization of GHG atmospheric concentration levels and allowing the maintenance of fossil derived fuels within the energy matrix, it requires that CO2 is captured from large point sources, such as power plants and oil refineries. Nevertheless, for CCS to become viable, it is necessary to ensure it can be done at costs and impacts that are economically and environmentally acceptable. However, the CO2 capture technologies currently available are not economically feasible due to their consumption of large amounts of energy and of the costs of the energy being significantly increased. Thus, the development of CO2 capture technologies is vital to make CCS viable.

The results are contextualized in terms of methods of CO2 capture processes, focusing on technology for IPCC, roadmaps, and government programs and strategies for reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

2. Methodology - Scope

The mapping of the capture technologies was focused on absorption, adsorption, membranes, cryogenic, enzymatic and hybrid (combinations of two or more technologies). These technologies were also mapped according to the CO2 capture process (post-combustion, pre-combustion and oxy-combustion), as well as natural gas and CO2 separation. It has been used "European Patent Office" (EPO), at B01D53 classification, the expressions used was (CO2 or carbon dioxide* or carbon oxide*) and captur* to patent research. 1123 patents were selected and 407 were evaluated.

For scientific articles, "Web of Science" (from the "I. S. I. Web of Knowledge) was used, with four other simultaneous search fields.

The results are analyzed in terms of priority date, annual evolution of the patents portfolio, technology owners (country, continent, sector of society, companies, R&D institutions), inventors and their countries, authors of scientific articles, article copyright owners, institutions and countries where the scientific research reported in the articles was performed, patent type (process, method, prototype, product, etc.), patents classification codes showing technologic trends and fields, type of gas source where CO2 is captured, type of processes and type of gas outputs after CO2 capture, details of the components and of the processes for each method capture, among other trends.

3. CO2 Capture Technologies

All the capture technologies are growing yearly (Figure 1), both in patent applications and in articles, having exponential curves characteristic of emergent technologies. Absorption and adsorption are the most used capture technologies, having more patent applications and articles published than the other capture technologies.

The annual evolution of articles (Figure 1) is crescent all the technologies, showing that all these subjects are still de interest for the scientific and technology developing communities.

Since 2010, the articles concerning absorption are predominant, although the related science, specially if amines are considered, is already well known and does not consist on a challenging subject for researchers, especially in its physic and chemistry basic rationales.

Until 1996, the adsorption articles were slightly more than membranes. Afterwards, both technologies have similar number of articles, and, in the last four years, adsorption became predominant.

Figure 1: Cumulative annual evolution of each capture method for: (A) articles published indexed in Web of Science I. S. I. journals; (B) patent applications.

Both membranes and adsorption technologies require a better knowledge of the interfaces and surfaces interactions. This knowledge has being much better known and detailed in the last decades due to the commercialization of new equipments like multimodal tensiometers, atomic force microscopy, popularization of the electronic microscopy in several modes, and so on. In fact, the articles concerning adsorption and cryogenic technologies have higher growing rate, comparing with the other technologies, showing crescent interest of authors and foment agencies.

The articles concerning processes that comprehend enzymes are growing each year, pointing to a technologic route with high potential, even though at the moment have a small number of authors. This may be due to basically two reasons: the scientists that have the knowledge to work with enzymes are not yet motivated to work in the carbon dioxide capture field, and the challenges of laboratory manipulation of enzymes for this propose are not relevant.

The patent applications for each technology (Figure 1) have annual distributions similar to the articles. They concern mainly absorption which was expected as it is the most used technologies for gas treatment nowadays.

Adsorption is the second most appropriated technology. It becomes more consistent in the seventies. In the nineties, the appropriation rate increased. When compared with absorption, although the curves are similar for articles, for patents the absorption is nearly twice higher through the years.

The membrane patents, although being filed since the eighties, only in the nineties started their exponential grow, which is attributed to the society demanding more efficient capture processes in wider operation conditions.

The patent applications concerning cryogenic technologies began also in the eighties, the growth is very slow but, tin the last years, the growing rate seems to have increased. Initially, they comprise manly cryogenic processes and, lately, the patent applications have also concerned more and more the hydrates usage.

Figure 2 presents the relation of published articles as indicators of the scientific disclosure and the patent applications as indicator of the technologic development. It is possible to observe that the scientific

research is more intense for adsorption and adsorption, while the cryogenic technologies are further in the appropriation through patents.

Figure 2: Relation of published articles (scientific disclosure) and patent applications (technologic

development).

The materials referred and reported for each technology have a quite wide range (Figure 3). In absorption, the most used absorbent is generically citing as "amines" or amines with specific ethyl groups like MEA and MDEA, in articles (22%) and in patents (31%).

Other solvents are also present both in articles and in patents: carbonates, ionic liquids, combinations of carbonates with amines, ethers, MEA, polymers, pyrrolidone, sea water, alkalis, materials for processes such as PSA. The solvents carbonate solvents, MEA, MDEA and ionic liquids are preferably reported in articles.

There is a great contribution of non specified solvents, both in articles and in patents, which is attributed to the versatility of the processes that may use various solvents.

The adsorption technology (Figure 3) has different patterns of adsorbents for patents and articles. For patents, the largest contributions are from zeolites, materials for the PSA process and molecular sieves in general. For articles, the largest contributions are activated carbon, molecular sieves in general, zeolites, silica, adsorbents with amines content and polymers. This may be attributed to the former being the ones with betters results in CO2 capture due to having the most advanced technologies, while the latter are still mostly in the scientific research phase, requiring new technologic developments before being used in demonstration and commercial plants. Another factor is the low price of activated carbon that is easy to work with, allowing institutions with few resources to research and publish more easily in this adsorbent. Other adsorbents cited are metal oxides, ionic liquids, materials for the TSA process, and alkali metals. For patents, the amount that does not specify in the abstract the type of material is large (39%), being generic processes with versatility to use several adsorbents.

For the membrane technology (Figure 3), we observe that most patents and papers are the polymeric membranes. Other materials are silica, metal oxides and ceramic membranes. For patents, similarly to the adsorption technologies, the amount of documents that does not specify the type of material is large (53%), corresponding to generic processes.

The cryogenic technologies (Figure 3) have large number of published articles in hydrates and several other articles in older capture cryogenic technologies. In cryogenics, some patents recently filed concern the efforts of transforming the problem of hydrate formation of the oil and gas in a solution to capture CO2.

The combined or hybrid technologies reported in the patents are now developing rapidly, covering combinations of the traditional areas of CO2 capture (Figure 3).

Technology Domain (Patents)

Absorption

Articles

Patents

NS others PSA MDEA pyrrolidone polymer MEA ether

amine and carbonate ionic liquid sea water carbonate alkaline solution

20 40 60 80 100 0

Adsorption

Articles

Patents

NS others polymer alkaline metal TSA amine silica ionic liquid metalic oxide active carbon molecular sieve PSA zeolite

Membranes

Articles

Patents

NS silica

nitrogenated compounds metalic oxide ceramics polymer

D Thermodynamics

Articles

Patents

hydrates

cryogenics

0 50 100 0 10 20 30

E Hybrid Patents

Membranes/Thermodynamics Adsorption/Membranes Absorption/Membranes Absorption/Adsorption

Figure 3: Details of publications and patent applications for CO2 capture technologies. (A) Absorption. (B) Adsorption. (C) Membranes. (D) Cryogenic. (E) Technologies combinations (hybrids).

4. Countries as owners of the CO2 Capture Technologic Development and Scientific Research

USA detains most of the patent applications (52%) and most of the articles published (31%). The other patent applications belong to several countries, especially Germany, France, Japan and United Kingdom.

The countries with more aggressive appropriation policies, when comparing the ratio of patents to articles, are France, Norway, Germany, USA and Netherland. Also, almost all these countries have CCS

roadmaps. Most of the governmental CCS projects are developed by Germany, Canada, USA, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and European Community. Thus, there is a strong correlation between countries of the technology owners and countries with clear CCS government policies.

In figure 4 it is also possible to observe the detail of the relation between articles and patents according to the technology for each country, except US that has articles and patents in all the technologies.

iijndia

0 20 40

Technology Domain (Patents)

Figure 4: Relation between articles and patents according to the technology for each country, except USA.

5. Input and Output Gases

The processes where the capture takes place after the combustion are dominant in the patent documents (76%), being the others pre-combustion, oxy-combustion, associations of pre and post-combustion, and purification in general. This predominance of post-combustion processes may be associated with the large number of U.S. patents, a country where energy is currently based thermoelectric requiring retrofitting.

The gas output, i. e., those captured of separated are, as referred in the patent documents are CO2 and carbon compounds (48%), CO2 and sulfur compounds (23%), acid gases in general, associations of CO2 nitrogenated gases, besides CO2 and water, CO2 and hydrogen, natural gas and CO2, and CO2 and oxygen. This was expected, since the capture processes with the highest number of patents are absorption and adsorption, where not only the chemical nature of the interaction, but also the energy associated are determinants to the processes efficiency and effectiveness. As these gases are all acids, they establish the same type intermolecular and intramolecular interactions with the solvents and / or surfaces, thus the discrimination of CO2 in relation to the other acid gases is low.

The patent applications refer to over thirty entry gases, being focused on combustion and post combustion processes, followed by natural gas specification. This may be due to most of the patent being from USA that has an energy matrix strongly based of coal thermo-power plants. New trends like Chemical Looping Combustion (CLC), Chemical Looping Reforming (CLR) are also focused.

Most of the patents is about the capture of CO2 present in natural gas, followed by industrial gases, capture systems in post-combustion, capture in the fuel (which may also include natural gas, pre, post and oxy -combustion), the synthesis gas and other gases.

6. CO2 Capture: European Classifications, Scientific Journals, Inventors and Authors

The most used Euorpean Classifications for CO2 capture are sections B, - Processing Operations, Transportation (63%) and C - Chemistry, Metallurgy. Also present are the codes E - Fixed constructions, with E21 - Drilling Soil, Mining, and F - Mechanical Engineering, Lighting, Heating, Weapons, Explosion, with F23 - Appliances combustion, combustion processes; F25 - Refrigeration or cooling; combined

systems of heating and cooling, heat pump systems, manufacturing or storage of ice; Liquefaction or solidification of gases, and G - Physics with the code G01 - Measurement, Test.

Within the code B, B01 (processes or physical or chemical apparatus in general) is predominant as a result of the search methodology that selects the code B01D53 patents.

The subgroups of B01 most commonly used to refer capture systems by absorption, adsorption, membranes, and processes of degasification of liquids and processes based on pressure differences.

Any particular journal for publication of articles specific for CO2 capture was not observed. However, the Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research has led, followed by Energy Conversion and Management, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control and Energy & Fuels. The publishers of the journals that published articles concerning capture of CO2 are Elsevier and American Chemical Society, among other publishers with much smaller number of articles like American Geophysical Union.

The authors who publish more articles related to CO2 capture are from North America and Europe, which is consistent with the general distribution of articles and patents in Figure 5. The only exception is C. M. Lu of China.

In the case of the inventors of patents, a similar trend is present, although France stands out as the European country that owns most of the technology. The exception is also Asian, in this case, the inventor M. Iijima of Japan.

7. Planetary Policies and Intergovernmental Actions

The Conference on the Changing Atmosphere, which took place in Toronto in 1988, was the first major event targeting climate change mitigation happening in the 80's. It was followed by IPCC's First Assessment Report in 1990, by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in 1992 and finally by the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

By adhering to the Kyoto Protocol, the signatory countries are bound to reduce their GHG emissions roughly to 95% of the 1990 levels by 2008-2012. In fact, many countries are now under great pressure, speeding up programs and initiatives to grant the attainment of the committed levels. On the other hand, there is a noticeably increasing trend, especially in the case of the developing economies, of establishing voluntary goals in terms of carbon emission reduction levels in the long term.

Some mechanisms have been established for voluntary information from the empresarial sector, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) based in London, United Kingdom, which consists on a levantamento periódico do andamento das metas de redugao de emissoes de cada empresa, suas estratégias de sustentabilidade e governanga climática, avaliando o grau de incorporagao das políticas de mudangas climáticas. According to Ban Ki-moon, General Secretary of the United Nations, the CDP aims to contribute to convencer empresas ao redor do mundo a medir, gerenciar, relatar e, em última instancia, reduzir suas emissoes de gases de efeito estufa, In the 2009 edition (CDP7), Brazil has reached a historical record, representing a 78%, which is inferior only to the UK (95%) which is the country where CPD was conceived (FTSE 100), Europe (82%) and Global 500 (81%).

With the rising importance of the climate change theme and the overall awareness of its implications in terms of sustainability, social responsibility, etc., questions pertaining to climate issues have now become an object of severe scrutiny by shareholders, stock exchange, governmental and non-governmental organizations and society in general.

As a rule, the major oil companies endorse Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a means to curb CO2 emissions efficiently, the only caveat being the costs involved, especially in the carbon capture processes. In order to meet this important challenge, Joint Industrial Projects (JIPs), such as CO2 Capture Program (CCP) are being carried out, targeting 20 to 30% reduction in the overall capture costs.

In the quest to effectively promote the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere, as well as raise the technological advance in order that this reduction really happens, the roadmaps are an important tool to plan the future (supply chain, academic research groups and R & D & I). They provide a tool for the governments to identify and prioritize actions needed to support R & D, marketing and investment decisions, among others. They contribute to reach a consensus on a set of requirements and gaps on the technologies needed to meet those standards, helping to forecast technological developments, and providing a framework to guide the planning and coordinating the development of technology. They allow

further delimitation of the strategies adopted by each country or region to monitor the pre-set targets and to adopt corrective measures so that they can achieve their goals. For technologies to capture and geological sequestration of CO2 (CCS), the roadmaps usually present plans started in 1997 and projections until 2030. These actions may consist only of CCS storage or include enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Roadmaps are well known for Canada, the United States, South Africa, Australia and Europe. However there are already policies in countries like Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada, China, Korea, USA, France, Holland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, UK, Sweden, and recently Brazil.

As part of the commitments assumed by the Brazilian Government while participating in the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) and also in order to provide a response to a direct demand from the Brazilian National Science and Technology Ministry (MCT), PETROBRAS has been leading since 2004 the construction of the CCS roadmap in Brazil, with support by the local academy. By 2011 the final version is due to submission to the Federal Government for appreciation and further publication.

8. Conclusion and Perspectives

All the capture technologies are growing yearly, both in patent applications and in articles, having exponential curves characteristic of emergent technologies. Through technologic mapping, it was possible to observe that absorption and adsorption are the most used capture technologies, having more patent applications and articles published than the other capture technologies. Post-combustion is the most used capture process, which is attributed to the thermo-power plants based on coal.

The CO2 capture technology has traditional appropriation patterns with patent applicants being mainly companies, and articles being published mainly by the academic sector. Nevertheless, the French Institute of Petrol, although being a R&D institution, has also a vast patent portfolio.

All the capture technologies are growing yearly, both in patent applications and in articles, having exponential curves characteristic of emergent technologies. Through technologic mapping, it was possible to observe that absorption and adsorption are the most used capture technologies, having more patent applications and articles published than the other capture technologies. Post-combustion is the most used capture process, which is attributed to the thermo-power plants based on coal. Most of the patents refer to processes, being more usual those of CO2 separation and removal.

Most of the copyrights belong to Elsevier and American Physical Society, both based in USA. USA detains most of the patent applications (52%) and most of the articles published (31%). The other patent applications belong to several countries, especially Germany, France, Japan and United Kingdom. The countries with more aggressive appropriation policies, when comparing the ratio of patents to articles, are France, Norway, Germany, USA and Netherland. Also, almost all these countries have CCS roadmaps. Most of the governmental CCS projects are developed by Germany, Canada, USA, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and European Community. Thus, there is a strong correlation between countries of the technology owners and countries with clear CCS government policies.

The CO2 capture technology has traditional appropriation patterns with patent applicants being mainly companies, and articles being published mainly by the academic sector. Nevertheless, the French Institute of Petrol, although being a R&D institution, has also a vast patent protifolia. The patent applications refer to over thirty entry gases, being focused on combustion and post combustion processes, followed by natural gas specification. This may be due to most of the patent being from USA that has an energy matrix strongly based of coal thermo-power plants. New trends like Chemical Looping Combustion" (CLC), Chemical Looping Reforming (CLR) are also focused.

References

MUSSE, ANA PAULA SANTANA, DINO, R., QUINTELLA, C. M., CO2 EOR and Geologic Storage: An Overview with Technology Assessment Based on Patents and Articles, in: SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production (10HSE), 2010, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. QUINTELLA, C. M.; HATIMONDI, S. A.; CERQUEIRA, G. S.; CASTRO, M. P.; MIYAZAKI, S. F., MUSSE, A. P. S., Mapeamento tecnológico da captura de CO2 baseado em patentes e artigos: parte iii: países s, In: Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2010.