Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Hydrophobic Solvent for CO2 Capture Simplifies Gasification Process

National Energy Technology Laboratory

Contact NETL About This Technology

Technology Marketing Summary

Research is active on the patent pending technology titled, "High Performance Hydrophobic Solvent for CO2 Capture." This technology is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.


Integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants have demonstrated that coal can be combusted with greater efficiency, but CO2 extraction from the mixed gas stream has proved to be costly. One reason for the expense is that while currently employed ethylene-glycol-based materials (Selexol) are highly selective in removing CO2, they are also hydrophilic, so water must first be removed before the solvent can be used to dissolve the CO2. In order to remove the water, the fuel gas stream must be cooled to 40 ?C—a costly and energy-demanding process. Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS) have overcome the problem of miscibility in water, but suffer from low selectivity.

This invention describes a method to remove COfrom a mixed gas stream using a solvent that is not only highly selective, but also has no affinity for water. A hydrophobic solvent allows absorption of CO2 at higher temperatures while eliminating the need for a water removal step at IGCC plants, which will simplify the gas removal process and reduce operating costs while increasing thermal efficiency.

The successful integration of this technology into industrial processes could replace ethylene-glycol-based solvent and PDMS to significantly reduce COfrom fuel gas streams while simplifying IGCC processes in a cost-effective manner.

  • May improve IGCC plant thermal efficiency by 2–3 percentage points
  • Reduces costs associated with cooling of the fuel gas stream
  • Allows COabsorption at higher temperatures
  • Eliminates the need for a water removal step
  • Simplifies and improves integration into IGCC plants
  • Combines the advantages of PDMS and ethylene glycol based solvents
  • Potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from a variety of industrial processes
Applications and Industries
  • Gasification
  • Surfactant for a variety of applications
  • Solvent for natural gas sweetening
More Information

U.S. Patent No. 9,643123 issued May 9, 2017, titled "High Performance Hydrophobic Solvent for CO2 Capture."

Inventors: David Luebke and Hunaid Nulwala

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 9,643,123
High performance hydrophobic solvent, carbon dioxide capture
Methods and compositions useful, for example, for physical solvent carbon capture. A method comprising: contacting at least one first composition comprising carbon dioxide with at least one second composition to at least partially dissolve the carbon dioxide of the first composition in the second composition, wherein the second composition comprises at least one siloxane compound which is covalently modified with at least one non-siloxane group comprising at least one heteroatom. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) materials and ethylene-glycol based materials have high carbon dioxide solubility but suffer from various problems. PDMS is hydrophobic but suffers from low selectivity. Ethylene-glycol based systems have good solubility and selectivity, but suffer from high affinity to water. Solvents were developed which keep the desired combinations of properties, and result in a simplified, overall process for carbon dioxide removal from a mixed gas stream.
U.S. Department of Energy 05/09/2017
Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

Contact NETL About This Technology

To: Jessica Lamp<>