Microscale Sorption Technologies for Waste Heat Utilization and Carbon Capture

Dr. Matthew Determan, Sustainable Thermal Systems Laboratory, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Monday, April 9, 2012, 3:30pm

MacLean B01

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series.

Waste heat is one of the largest underutilized resources in the global energy use paradigm. Technologies that can effectively harness the available energy in otherwise “waste” heat streams can reduce primary energy requirements, but have thus far suffered from large footprints, high first cost, and long pay back periods. Miniaturized sorption technologies that utilize the low-temperature waste heat from co-located processes offer the potential to significantly reduce primary energy requirements for applications ranging from building energy systems to carbon capture systems in much smaller footprints than previously available. Research on the fundamentals of phase-change heat and mass transfer at the microscales and innovative technologies that enable such systems will be presented. The design, fabrication, and experimental validation of a micro-scale, monolithic, ammonia/water absorption heat pump will be discussed. The ultra-compact nature of this thermally activated system provides a means to utilize waste heat resources at small scales with distributed thermal hubs rather than at centrally located plants. Additionally, the heat and mass transfer modeling of a rapid temperature swing adsorption cycle using a hollow fiber sorbent platform for carbon dioxide capture will be presented. This cycle utilizes the abundant, low-temperature waste heat available at coal-fired power plants as the driving force for the energy intensive gas separation process, thereby reducing capture costs. The hollow-fiber platform allows rapid cycling of the system to increase the sorbent productivity, and uses the integrated thermal recovery technique of a “thermal wave” to lower energy usage below that of other thermally driven capture methods.

About the Speaker

Dr. Matthew Determan is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Determan earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University (2003), M.S. (2005) and Ph.D. (2008) in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech. After completion of his graduate studies, Dr. Determan was the Director of Engineering, Thermal Systems for Pipeline Micro, Inc. Honolulu, HI, where he led a team of thermal engineers in the development of advanced electronics cooling systems. His research activities have included the characterization of two-phase heat transfer and pressure drop in mini/micro-channels, absorption heat and mass transfer, the development of miniaturized thermal systems and components for waste heat utilization, and the modeling of rapid temperature swing adsorption cycles for carbon dioxide capture.