A method for the removal of H.sub.2O and CO.sub.2 from a gaseous stream comprising H.sub.2O and CO.sub.2, such as a flue gas. The method initially utilizes an H.sub.2O removal sorbent to remove some portion of the H.sub.2O, producing a dry gaseous stream and a wet H.sub.2O removal sorbent. The dry gaseous stream is subsequently contacted with a CO.sub.2 removal sorbent to remove some portion of the CO.sub.2, generating a dry CO.sub.2 reduced stream and a loaded CO.sub.2 removal sorbent. The loaded CO.sub.2 removal sorbent is subsequently heated to produce a heated CO.sub.2 stream. The wet H.sub.2O removal sorbent and the dry CO.sub.2 reduced stream are contacted in a first regeneration stage, generating a partially regenerated H.sub.2O removal sorbent, and the partially regenerated H.sub.2O removal sorbent and the heated CO.sub.2 stream are subsequently contacted in a second regeneration stage. The first and second stage regeneration typically act to retain an initial monolayer of moisture on the various removal sorbents and only remove moisture layers bound to the initial monolayer, allowing for relatively low temperature and pressure operation. Generally the applicable H.sub.2O sorption/desorption processes may be conducted at temperatures less than about 70.degree. C. and pressures less than 1.5 atmospheres, with certain operations conducted at temperatures less than about 50.degree. C.
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.