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Vacuum solutions for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) technologies

Vacuum Solutions for Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)

CO2 can be captured either directly from the atmosphere (Direct Air Carbon Capture) or from the emissions produced by industrial manufacturing, especially chemical plants, steel plants, oil and gas refineries, cements plants and power generation plants. It can be done using various CO2 separation techniques such as chemical absorption, physical absorption or adsorption, membrane separation, cryogenic separation, chemical looping. 

Vacuum environment enables efficient CO2 separation through:

  • Low pressure operation for solid sorbent desorption (Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption or VPSA)
  • Chemical sorbent regeneration with reduced amount of heat    
  • Gas separation across membrane using pressure differential as the driving force

CCUS technologies enable various industries by utilising the captured carbon as:

  • Raw material for chemical manufacturing and building materials
  • Fuels for industry
  • Fertiliser in agriculture
  • Gases for beverages
  • Gases in the medical industry
  • Gas injection for enhanced oil recovery in reservoirs

Excess carbon can be permanently stored onshore or offshore in depleted pockets. Most of the carbon capture technologies that are in use today, use scalable vacuum pump solutions in their process.

What methods of Carbon Capture require Edwards vacuum pumps?

Edwards vacuum solutions have been successfully installed in various carbon capture technologies worldwide owing to its scalability from pilot plant to full scale production sites providing critical support for successful installations. Edwards vacuum solutions offer many solutions for sustainable manufacturing such as:

  • Robust and reliable operation with broad vacuum product portfolio
  • Technologies with various materials of construction
  • Energy efficiency and lower cost of ownership
  • Global sales and service footprint
  • Applications expertise

Direct Air Capture (DAC)

This method involves the capture of CO2 directly from the ambient air. The air is first drawn through vertical or horizontal fans before CO2 is subsequently separated using absorption or adsorption techniques. The CO2 concentration in the air is typically 400 ppm meaning about 1.25 million of m3 of air is required per ton of CO2.

Edwards reliable liquid ring vacuum pump technology have been successfully used for Direct Air Carbon capture processes. An example is our LR series of liquid ring vacuum pumps which are available in various materials of construction, different sizes for better scalability, and operate with minimal maintenance, making them ideal for continuous operations.

Direct air capture

Pre-Combustion Carbon Capture


Pre-combustion carbon capture involves removing CO2 from a gas mixture prior to the combustion process. The initial carbon-based fuel (natural gas, coal, wastes, biomass) is first transformed into the so-called syngas through reforming or gasification process. This process is particularly suited for incineration plants with Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC). Pre-combustion involves gasification and partial oxidisation (IGCC) of the fuel to produce CO2 and Hydrogen. Using physical absorption processes, the CO2 is isolated using a separator.

Edwards intelligent dry vacuum pumps such as the GXS dry screw vacuum pumps and EH mechanical boosters can be used in the pre-combustion process to create the pressure difference in the membrane system to separate CO2 out of H2 from the gas mixture. With advanced control mechanism, modular and scalable concept, the dry pump solutions offer maximum flexibility.

Pre-Combustion Carbon Capture

Post-Combustion Carbon Capture

Post combustion carbon capture technology is one of the most established CCUS technology today. After the combustion of fossil fuels, CO2 is captured and separated from the resultant flue gas. Edwards offers various solutions for Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) as well as vacuum solutions for retrofit CO2 capture technology. Vacuum pumps are used for vacuum filtration and dewatering of gypsum in FGD process and at a later stage to separate the CO2 from the solvent or sorbent.

Edwards EDS chemical dry screw vacuum pumps can handle increasingly complex chemical vapours and solvents vapours safely at a low cost of ownership. Our custom engineered products such as our steam ejector vacuum systems offer improved energy-efficiency and the capability to handle high vapour loads without the risk of cavitation. 

Post-Combustion Carbon Capture

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture (BECCS)

Bio-Energy Carbon Capture and Storage utilises biomass to capture and store carbon from atmosphere which is then burned to harvest the energy. In this process CO2 is captured and sequestered in landfill or used for chemical production. Capturing process can either be done through pre-combustion or post-combustion depending on what biomass is intended to be used for.

Edwards offers large capacity LR series of liquid ring vacuum pumps and HR series of liquid ring vacuum pumps available in stainless steel construction and ideal for carbon capture in this process.

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture