Utilization of CO2 in Flue Gas for Sodium Bicarbonate Production in a Bubble Column


Utilization of CO2 in flue gases for the production of sodium bicarbonate is an environmentally friendly process. A mathematical model was constructed for the design and simulation of utilizing a low concentration CO2 (2-18%) in flue gas to produce sodium bicarbonate in a bubble column reactor. The model is based on the mass balance equations for three phases (gas, liquid, and solid). Danckwerts theory for mass transfer from the gas phase to the liquid phase coupling with chemical reaction, and crystallization mechanism was used. The effect of process variables; gas molar velocity or flux (G=2.5-10 mole/m2.s), liquid mass flow rate (mL=2800-3400 kg/h), sodium bicarbonate concentration (x1=0.04-0.1), CO2 gas mole fraction (y=0.02-0.18), column height (h=11-33 m), and column diameter (dR=1-3 m) on the objective variables; solid molar velocity (S), CO2 conversion, precipitation zone height (Zi), and crystal size distribution (CSD) were studied. The conversion of CO2 varied from 34% to 71% whereas the particle size range varied from 0 to 400 μm. The particle size range and the CO2 absorption efficiency of about 50% for 20 m column height are in agreement with the literature.