Modelling of tetrahydrofuran promoted gas hydrate systems for carbon dioxide capture processes

Peter Jørgensen Herslund, Kaj Thomsen, Jens Abildskov, Nicolas von Solms

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A thermodynamic study of a novel gas hydrate based CO2 capture process is presented.•Model predicts this process unsuitable for CO2 capture from power station flue gases. A thermodynamic modelling study of both fluid phase behaviour and hydrate phase behaviour is presented for the quaternary system of water, tetrahydrofuran, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. The applied model incorporates the Cubic-Plus-Association (CPA) equation of state for the fluid phase description and the van der Waals-Platteeuw hydrate model for the solid (hydrate) phase. Six binary pairs are studied for their fluid phase behaviour. CPA descriptions are adjusted when needed by correlation of binary parameters in the applied mixing- and combining rules. Kihara cell potential parameters in the hydrate model are regressed for the three hydrate formers, tetrahydrofuran, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. The developed model provides highly accurate descriptions of both fluid- and hydrate phase equilibria in the studied system and its subsystems. The developed model is applied to simulate two simplified, gas hydrate-based processes for post-combustion carbon dioxide capture from power station flue gases. The first process, an unpromoted hydrate process, operates isothermally at a temperature of 280. K. Applying three consecutive hydrate formation/dissociation stages (three-stage capture process), a carbon dioxide-rich product (97. mol%) is finally delivered at a temperature of 280. K and a pressure of 3.65. MPa. The minimum pressure requirement of the first stage is estimated to be 24.9. MPa, corresponding to the incipient hydrate dissociation pressure at 280. K for the considered flue gas. A second simulated carbon dioxide capture process uses tetrahydrofuran as a thermodynamic promoter to reduce the pressure requirements. By doing so the minimum pressure requirement of the first capture stage is lowered to 0.41. MPa. Selectivity towards carbon dioxide in the hydrate phase is however lower than in the unpromoted process. Therefore the tetrahydrofuran promoted capture process needs four consecutive hydrate formation/dissociation stages to produce a 96. mol% carbon dioxide-rich product stream. This stream is delivered at 280. K and a pressure of 0.17. MPa. The present modelling study suggests several drawbacks of using tetrahydrofuran as a thermodynamic hydrate promoter, when applied in low-pressure, hydrate-based gas separation processes. Due to the high volatility of this compound, the promoter readily transfers to the vapour phase. Furthermore, tetrahydrofuran lowers the selectivity towards carbon dioxide, and the gas uptake in general, in the hydrate phase compared to the unpromoted system. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFluid Phase Equilibria
Pages (from-to)45-65
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Carbon dioxide
  • Gas hydrates
  • Modelling
  • Promoter
  • Tetrahydrofuran
  • Carbon capture
  • Carbon dioxide process
  • Dissociation
  • Equations of state
  • Flue gases
  • Gases
  • Hydration
  • Models
  • Nitrogen
  • Phase equilibria
  • Power plants
  • Thermodynamics
  • Van der Waals forces
  • Carbon dioxide capture
  • Cubic plus associations
  • Gas separation process
  • Tetra-hydrofuran
  • Thermodynamic modelling
  • Thermodynamic promoters
  • Thermodynamic studies

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