A novel method and system of separating carbon dioxide from flue gas is introduced. Instead of relying on large temperature or pressure changes to remove carbon dioxide from a solvent used to absorb it from flue gas, the ion pump method, as disclosed herein, dramatically increases the concentration of dissolved carbonate ion in solution. This increases the overlying vapor pressure of carbon dioxide gas, permitting carbon dioxide to be removed from the downstream side of the ion pump as a pure gas. The ion pumping may be obtained from reverse osmosis, electrodialysis, thermal desalination methods, or an ion pump system having an oscillating flow in synchronization with an induced electric field.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.