A process for CO.sub.2 separation using a regenerable Mg(OH).sub.2 sorbent. The process absorbs CO.sub.2 through the formation of MgCO.sub.3 and releases water product H.sub.2O. The MgCO.sub.3 is partially regenerated through direct contact with steam, which acts to heat the magnesium carbonate to a higher temperature, provide heat duty required to decompose the magnesium carbonate to yield MgO and CO.sub.2, provide an H.sub.2O environment over the magnesium carbonate thereby shifting the equilibrium and increasing the potential for CO.sub.2 desorption, and supply H.sub.2O for rehydroxylation of a portion of the MgO. The mixture is polished in the absence of CO.sub.2 using water product H.sub.2O produced during the CO.sub.2 absorption to maintain sorbent capture capacity. The sorbent now comprised substantially of Mg(OH).sub.2 is then available for further CO.sub.2 absorption duty in a cyclic process.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to the employer-employee relationship of the Government to the inventors as U.S. Department of Energy employees and site-support contractors at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.