Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Carbon capture with extended-range sorbent systems

Technology #m10-121

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Klaus S. Lackner
Managed By
Richard Nguyen

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a product of combustion and a greenhouse gas whose increased atmospheric concentrations are effecting global climate change. In order to stem climate change, carbon needs to be captured not only from the air, but also from the exhaust systems of power plants where flue gas is emitted. Traditional sorbent systems and scrubbers for capturing carbon work either at low carbon concentrations (such as in ambient air) or at high carbon concentrations (such as in flue gas). This technology revises traditional approaches to sorbent system design and yields a sorbent that effectively captures carbon at a wide range of concentrations. Such a sorbent can be used in very disparate ranges of conditions, from ambient air to flue gas. This increased flexibility provides the opportunity to unify and simplify the utilization of carbon capture technology.

Advanced sorbent design yields increased flexibility, simplifying employment in both low- and high-concentration CO2 environments

Typical air has a CO2 concentration near 400ppm while flue gas can reach up to 150,000ppm CO2. Few materials can absorb CO2 at both of these concentrations. This technology features a swing-based CO2 booster pump to transfer CO2 and manage local concentrations. This can shift local CO2 concentrations by up to 200 fold and help traditional sorbents to be more effective. With this technology, virtually all the CO2 from flue gas can be collected, whereas conventional approaches based on monoethanolamine tend to be much less energy efficient. This technology is also capable of dealing with small acid gas impurities in the gas stream.

The implementation of this technology allows for scrubbing gas streams of all sorts, with unmatched flexibility in employment.

Lead Inventor:

Klaus S. Lackner, Ph.D.


  • Capturing carbon from air
  • Capturing carbon from flue gas


  • Elegant sorbent design
  • Effective under wide range of conditions
  • Scrubs gas clean of CO2

Patent Information:

Patent Pending (US 20140219899)

Tech Ventures Reference: IR M10-121

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