Post-Combustion Carbon Capture and Utilization by Sodium Hydroxide Aqueous Solution for Bicarbonate Microalgae Cultivation

Jialin Liu, Yoong Kit Leong, Jo Shu Chang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere, which is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, contribute greatly to global warming. In a standard post-combustion carbon capture (PCC) process, the energy penalty attributes to regenerate the CO2 lean solvents. Microalgae have been established as the most promising candidate to the CO2 capture and utilization (CCU) technology due to a high growth rate, oil productivity, and photosynthetic efficiency. However, the gaseous form of CO2 is utilized by microalgae only to a very limited degree due to its low water solubility and high outgassing rate. In addition, the flue gases from a coal-fired power plant, which contains 10% to 16% of CO2, cannot be supplied as the carbon source for the microalgae, directly. The bicarbonate-based microalgae cultivation may offer a promising alternative that relieves the burden of regeneration energy and improves the low carbon utilization efficiency of the gaseous form of CO2 cultivation. In the present work, the rate-based model of Aspen Plus is adopted to simulate a flue gas in the flow rate of 1800 m3/h with 14% CO2 that is absorbed by aqueous NaOH solution. The absorbent is recycled from the mother liquor where most of bicarbonate is precipitated, and the fresh makeup with 30 wt% NaOH is applied. The column height to achieve 90% of CO2 removal rate is investigated by varying the recycle rate of absorbent and the solid fraction in the bicarbonate product. In addition, the carbon utilization efficiency (CUE) by gaseous CO2 and bicarbonate solution for the microalgae cultivation is compared. The results show that the CUE of the bicarbonate-based cultivation is far superior to that of the counterpart.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan

Publication series

NameComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
ISSN (Print)1570-7946

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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