SBIR-STTR Award

Novel, Efficient Contactor Technology to Substantially Lower the Cost of Direct Air Capture of CO2
Profile last edited on: 12/29/2020

Program
SBIR
Agency
DOE
Total Award Amount
$1,906,086
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
Mansour Masoudi
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Emissol LLC

16300 Mill Creek Boulevard Suite 208-F
Mill Creek, WA 98012
   (425) 231-1686
   N/A
   www.emissol.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   01
County:   Snohomish

Phase I

Phase I year
2020
Phase I Amount
$256,086
Novel efforts to capture and remove CO2 from the air around us benefit us in many ways, from helping mitigate climate challenges caused by this potent greenhouse gas, to creating innovative manufacturing to use CO2 as a precursor to variety of products, from synthetic fuel to plastics, cement, chemical products and others. Direct Air Capture of CO2, as it is called, is however easier said than done: CO2 concentration in air amounts to only 400 parts per million, or 0.04%, making it difficult and especially costly to capture. This project aims to reduce the CO2 capture cost using a novel concept previously demonstrated successfully in the automotive field. Mathematical models will be constructed to represent CO2 coming in contact with a chemically coated surface capable of attracting and storing CO2, much like a sponge, only to release it when heated. While the concept itself is not entirely new, what is new is our novel engineering concept to speed up the CO2 attraction to the sponge with less energy to reduce the overall CO2 capture cost. If successful, our efforts will help further economize the CO2 capture cost, easing the transformation and cost of carbon capture technologies. Our project outcome can reduce the overall process cost and can accelerate drive to a carbon-capture-based market segment producing the next generation of CO2 -based products.

Phase II

Phase II year
2021 (last award $$: 2021)
Phase II Amount
$1,650,000
Novel efforts to capture and remove CO2 from air, known as Direct Air Capture DAC, benefits society, the environment and generations to come. It helps reduce this major greenhouse gas, mitigate climate challenges facing us every day, diminish climate irregularities and creates innovative manufacturing to convert CO2 to variety of products: Fuels, cement, plastics, household goods and others. Ceramic honeycombs, known also as contactors, are used in removing CO2 from air by coating them with CO2 adsorbents. During this Phase I project, we designed and tested a novel honeycomb contactor smaller than the mainstream ones. It was rigorously tested both experimentally and in mathematical models. It was observed that our novel contactor captures and removes CO2 at a faster rate. Most importantly, it needs less sorbent, by about 40%. This is significant since, in many DAC systems, sorbent cost could be 80 – 85% of the ‘total’ capture cost. Given the cost reduction capability of our novel contactor, the total DAC cost could be reduced by about 30%. With CO2 capture not yet commercialized due to its high cost, this could be a game changer. For many DAC pilot plants planning to scale, this level of savings could be makeorbreak. Good agreement was also observed between our test data and mathmodeling results. Our concept has already been shared with several entities in the energy and capture field. The feedback has generally been positive and exciting, prompting us to move to Phase II 20212023 of this project. During Phase II, we plan to optimize our novel contactor for even a higher capture rate, and for more DAC cost savings. We will work closely with a national lab on its prototyping, testing and manufacturing. If successful, given it marked DAC cost saving capability, it is likely that our contactor will play a key role in enabling DAC commercialization.