Promising CO2 Scrubber Uses Hair Conditioner Ingredient


A new technology that uses aminosilicones, a product found in hair conditioners and fabric softeners, has proven successful in removing 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from the simulated flue gases created by coal-fired power plants.

Chemists at General Electric Global Research, reporting their findings at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, said that using aminosilicones as a scrubber material holds the promise of stripping CO2 from flue gases more efficiently and cheaply that current compounds being tested as CO2 scrubbers.

Robert Perry, a chemist who helped invent the aminosilicone scrubber system, said the material will soon be used on a pilot scale at a power plant.

If that test is successful, the aminosilcone solvents could be used in large absorber systems that capture CO2 from coal plants and then are transferred to special “desorption” units, where the carbon dioxide would be removed from the aminosilicone and sequestered in liquid form underground.

Perry said developing successful CO2 scrubbers for the world’s 50,000 coal-fired power plants is crucial to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

photo: Clean Wal-Mart

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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