Indeed in the last decade or so, the issue of global climate change has become a bigger concern than ever before to the mainstream public. More than ever, the public-at-large is taking notice to the effects of global warming, with apparently erratic and abnormal weather patterns taking place the world over. Even Hollywood has popularised the issue of global warming, with recent movies like ‘The Day After Tomorrow (20th Century Fox, 2004) showcasing the, albeit exaggerated, apocalyptic effects of a global climate system collapse.
Despite uncertainty over how anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the atmosphere is influencing the rise of global average temperatures, there is overwhelming consensus in the mainstream scientific fraternity that mankind plays a discerning role on the Earth’s climate, with fossil fuel combustion being the main contributing factor.
The purpose of this project is to investigate on the little known concept of melting point swing (MPS) absorption using the unique properties of some salt hydrates like tetramethylammonium fluoride tetrahydrate (TMAF), [(CH 3 )4N]F.4H2O, or tetraethylammonium acetate tetrahydrate (TEAA), [(C2H5)4N]CH3CO2.4H2O. The melts of these salts have been discovered to exhibit very impressive CO2 affinity and absorption capacities (Quinn et al., 1995a & 1995c). It has been shown that CO2 can be efficiently absorbed by these salt hydrates at a low temperature (ca. 50 °C) and rapidly released when the temperature is lowered to solidify the salt (ca. 30 °C). This represents the idea of MPS, where the CO2 is absorbed and desorbed by “swinging” around the melting point of the absorbent. The utilisation of this technique incorporating suitable salt hydrates has the potential to become an economical, practical and highly effective means of capturing CO2 (Quinn et al., 1995c).
Researches done to date by Quinn et al. (1995a, 1995b, 1995c, 2001) and Flowers (2002) have shown very favourable results for employing such salt hydrates as CO2 absorbents. Near 100% absorbency, high capacity and high selectivity of CO2 have been reported. The aim of this project is to report findings from prior art and thereafter, design an experimental setup capable of testing the novel concept of MPS absorption and investigate other salt hydrates that can be used with this novel method. An all-in-one experimental setup was conceived.