The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected the research team from the Rice University in Texas to develop innovative new technologies which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide from power plants.

Currently the natural gas producers use a two-phase chemical process to remove naturally occurring CO2.

The natural gas is piped upward through a vertical column while an ammonia-like liquid called amine flows down through the column.

The liquid amine captures the CO2 and drains away while the purified natural gas bubbles out of the column. In the second phase of the process, the CO2-containing amine is recycled with intense heat, which drives off the CO2.

Rice University’s research team co-investigator Sumedh Warudkar said that it’s a difficult technical challenge to capture such a large volume of CO2, but if we can find a feasible way, it could really change things.