Chemical looping combustion for clean-up of methane slip

Dutch based company TNO has recently developed a new methane slip technology that could replace the currently used regenerative thermal oxidiser (RTO) technology.

The new chemical looping combustion (CLC) is a very simple catalytic conversion and oxidation system. It can run on very low methane contents (0.3%-2%) and completely remove the methane while producing some heat. The basic principle is that methane is converted to CO2 by using metal catalyst. The catalyst can be chosen depending on the operating temperature and is fully regenerated by introducing air (oxidization step).

Therefore some of the main advantages are that the CO2 stream is never mixed with air and the low temperatures keep pollutants to a minimum, both resulting in a stream of high value CO2 that can be utilized or sold. As already mentioned, even with low concentrations (> 3%) of methane, heat can be recovered and utilized elsewhere.

The technology also enables the use of methane from landfills after the economic life is over (low methane content) and thus replaces flaring while enabling the production of heat for other processes. Due to the modularity it is possible to utilize the technology flexible with the changes in the landfill (lower flow and lower methane content).

Once compared to RTO, the CLC technology has advantages on several fields, such as investment and operating costs, lower operating temperature and higher methane removal efficiency.

For more information, please contact Leon Stille.