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Supplying treated exhaust gases for effecting growth of phototrophic biomass

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Supplying treated exhaust gases for effecting growth of phototrophic biomass


There is provided a process for growing a phototrophic biomass in a reaction zone. The process includes treating an operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed so as to effect production of a carbon dioxide-rich product material. The carbon dioxide concentration of the carbon dioxide-rich product material is greater than the carbon dioxide concentration of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed. Production of at least a fraction of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed is effected by a gaseous exhaust material producing process. At least a fraction of the carbon dioxide-rich product material is supplied to the reaction zone so as to effect growth of the phototrophic biomass by photosynthesis in the reaction zone.

Browse recent Pond Biofuels Inc. patents - Scarborough, CA
Inventors: Jaime A. Gonzalez, Max Kolesnik, Steven C. Martin
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120276633 - Class: 435420 (USPTO) - 11/01/12 - Class 435 
Chemistry: Molecular Biology And Microbiology > Plant Cell Or Cell Line, Per Se (e.g., Transgenic, Mutant, Etc.); Composition Thereof; Process Of Propagating, Maintaining, Or Preserving Plant Cell Or Cell Line; Process Of Isolating Or Separating A Plant Cell Or Cell Line; Process Of Regenerating Plant Cells Into Tissue, Plant Part, Or Plant, Per Se, Where No Genotypic Change Occurs; Medium Therefore >Culture, Maintenance, Or Preservation Techniques, Per Se

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120276633, Supplying treated exhaust gases for effecting growth of phototrophic biomass.

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FIELD

The present disclosure relates to a process for growing biomass.

BACKGROUND

The cultivation of phototrophic organisms has been widely practised for purposes of producing a fuel source. Exhaust gases from industrial processes have also been used to promote the growth of phototrophic organisms by supplying carbon dioxide for consumption by phototrophic organisms during photosynthesis. By providing exhaust gases for such purpose, environmental impact is reduced and, in parallel a potentially useful fuel source is produced. Challenges remain, however, to render this approach more economically attractive for incorporation within existing facilities.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, there is provided a process for growing a phototrophic biomass in a reaction zone. The process includes treating an operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed so as to effect production of a carbon dioxide-rich product material. The carbon dioxide concentration of the carbon dioxide-rich product material is greater than the carbon dioxide concentration of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed. Production of at least a fraction of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed is effected by a gaseous exhaust material producing process. At least a fraction of the carbon dioxide-rich product material is supplied to the reaction zone so as to effect growth of the phototrophic biomass by photosynthesis in the reaction zone.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The process of the preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described with the following accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is a process flow diagram of an embodiment of the process.

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of a portion of a fluid passage of an embodiment of the process.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference throughout the specification to “some embodiments” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with some embodiments are not necessarily referring to the same embodiments. Furthermore, the particular features, structure, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner with one another.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is provided a process of growing a phototrophic biomass in a reaction zone 10. The reaction zone 10 includes a reaction mixture that is operative for effecting photosynthesis upon exposure to photosynthetically active light radiation. The reaction mixture includes phototrophic biomass material, carbon dioxide, and water. In some embodiments, the reaction zone includes phototrophic biomass and carbon dioxide disposed in an aqueous medium. Within the reaction zone 10, the phototrophic biomass is disposed in mass transfer communication with both of carbon dioxide and water.

“Phototrophic organism” is an organism capable of phototrophic growth in the aqueous medium upon receiving light energy, such as plant cells and micro-organisms. The phototrophic organism is unicellular or multicellular. In some embodiments, for example, the phototrophic organism is an organism which has been modified artificially or by gene manipulation. In some embodiments, for example, the phototrophic organism is an alga. In some embodiments, for example, the algae are microalgae.

“Phototrophic biomass” is at least one phototrophic organism. In some embodiments, for example, the phototrophic biomass includes more than one species of phototrophic organisms.

“Reaction zone 10” defines a space within which the growing of the phototrophic biomass is effected. In some embodiments, for example, the reaction zone 10 is provided in a photobioreactor 12. In some embodiments, for example, pressure within the reaction zone is atmospheric pressure.

“Photobioreactor 12” is any structure, arrangement, land formation or area that provides a suitable environment for the growth of phototrophic biomass. Examples of specific structures which can be used is a photobioreactor 12 by providing space for growth of phototrophic biomass using light energy include, without limitation, tanks, ponds, troughs, ditches, pools, pipes, tubes, canals, and channels. Such photobioreactors may be either open, closed, partially closed, covered, or partially covered. In some embodiments, for example, the photobioreactor 12 is a pond, and the pond is open, in which case the pond is susceptible to uncontrolled receiving of materials and light energy from the immediate environments. In other embodiments, for example, the photobioreactor 12 is a covered pond or a partially covered pond, in which case the receiving of materials from the immediate environment is at least partially interfered with. The photobioreactor 12 includes the reaction zone 10 which includes the reaction mixture. In some embodiments, the photobioreactor 12 is configured to receive a supply of phototrophic reagents (and, in some of these embodiments, optionally, supplemental nutrients), and is also configured to effect discharge of phototrophic biomass which is grown within the reaction zone 10. In this respect, in some embodiments, the photobioreactor 12 includes one or more inlets for receiving the supply of phototrophic reagents and supplemental nutrients, and also includes one or more outlets for effecting the recovery or harvesting of biomass which is grown within the reaction zone 10. In some embodiments, for example, one or more of the inlets are configured to be temporarily sealed for periodic or intermittent time intervals. In some embodiments, for example, one or more of the outlets are configured to be temporarily sealed or substantially sealed for periodic or intermittent time intervals. The photobioreactor 12 is configured to contain the reaction mixture which is operative for effecting photosynthesis upon exposure to photosynthetically active light radiation. The photobioreactor 12 is also configured so as to establish photosynthetically active light radiation (for example, a light of a wavelength between about 400-700 nm, which can be emitted by the sun or another light source) within the photobioreactor 12 for exposing the phototrophic biomass. The exposing of the reaction mixture to the photosynthetically active light radiation effects photosynthesis and growth of the phototrophic biomass. In some embodiments, for example, the established light radiation is provided by an artificial light source 14 disposed within the photobioreactor 12. For example, suitable artificial lights sources include submersible fiber optics or light guides, light-emitting diodes (“LEDs”), LED strips and fluorescent lights. Any LED strips known in the art can be adapted for use in the photobioreactor 12. In the case of the submersible LEDs, in some embodiments, for example, energy sources include alternative energy sources, such as wind, photovoltaic cells, fuel cells, etc. to supply electricity to the LEDs. Fluorescent lights, external or internal to the photobioreactor 12, can be used as a back-up system. In some embodiments, for example, the established light is derived from a natural light source 16 which has been transmitted from externally of the photobioreactor 12 and through a transmission component. In some embodiments, for example, the transmission component is a portion of a containment structure of the photobioreactor 12 which is at least partially transparent to the photosynthetically active light radiation, and which is configured to provide for transmission of such light to the reaction zone 10 for receiving by the phototrophic biomass. In some embodiments, for example, natural light is received by a solar collector, filtered with selective wavelength filters, and then transmitted to the reaction zone 10 with fiber optic material or with a light guide. In some embodiments, for example, both natural and artificial lights sources are provided for effecting establishment of the photosynthetically active light radiation within the photobioreactor 12.

“Aqueous medium” is an environment that includes water. In some embodiments, for example, the aqueous medium also includes sufficient nutrients to facilitate viability and growth of the phototrophic biomass. In some embodiments, for example, supplemental nutrients may be included such as one of, or both of, NOX and SOX. Suitable aqueous media are discussed in detail in: Rogers, L. J. and Gallon J. R. “Biochemistry of the Algae and Cyanobacteria,” Clarendon Press Oxford, 1988; Burlew, John S. “Algal Culture: From Laboratory to Pilot Plant.” Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 600. Washington, D.C., 1961 (hereinafter “Burlew 1961”); and Round, F. E. The Biology of the Algae. St Martin\'s Press, New York, 1965; each of which is incorporated herein by reference). A suitable supplemental nutrient composition, known as “Bold\'s Basal Medium”, is described in Bold, H. C. 1949, The morphology of Chlamydomonas chlamydogama sp. nov. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 76: 101-8 (see also Bischoff, H. W. and Bold, H. C. 1963. Phycological Studies IV Some soil algae from Enchanted Rock and related algal species, Univ. Texas Publ. 6318: 1-95, and Stein, J. (ED.) Handbook of Phycological Methods, Culture methods and growth measurements, Cambridge University Press, pp. 7-24).

The process includes supplying the reaction zone 10 with carbon dioxide derived from a gaseous exhaust material 14 being discharged by a gaseous exhaust material producing process 16. The gaseous exhaust material 14 includes carbon dioxide, and the carbon dioxide of the gaseous exhaust material defines produced carbon dioxide.

In some embodiments, for example, the gaseous exhaust material 14 includes a carbon dioxide concentration of at least two (2) volume % based on the total volume of the gaseous exhaust material 14. In some embodiments, for example, the gaseous exhaust material 14 includes a carbon dioxide concentration of at least four (4) volume % based on the total volume of the gaseous exhaust material 14. In some embodiments, for example, the gaseous exhaust material reaction 14 also includes one or more of N2, CO2, H2O, O2, NOx, SOx, CO, volatile organic compounds (such as those from unconsumed fuels) heavy metals, particulate matter, and ash. In some embodiments, for example, the gaseous exhaust material 14 includes 30 to 60 volume % N2, 5 to 25 volume % O2, 2 to 50 volume % CO2, and 0 to 30 volume % H2O, based on the total volume of the gaseous exhaust material 14. Other compounds may also be present, but usually in trace amounts (cumulatively, usually less than five (5) volume % based on the total volume of the gaseous exhaust material 14).

In some embodiments, for example, the gaseous exhaust material 14 includes one or more other materials, other than carbon dioxide, that are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10. Materials within the gaseous exhaust material which are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10 include SOX, NOX, and NH3.

In some embodiments, for example, a supplemental nutrient supply 18 is supplied to the reaction zone 10. In some embodiments, for example, the supplemental nutrient supply 18 is effected by a pump, such as a dosing pump. In other embodiments, for example, the supplemental nutrient supply 18 is supplied manually to the reaction zone 10. Nutrients within the reaction zone 10 are processed or consumed by the phototrophic biomass, and it is desirable, in some circumstances, to replenish the processed or consumed nutrients. A suitable nutrient composition is “Bold\'s Basal Medium”, and this is described in Bold, H. C. 1949, The morphology of Chlamydomonas chlamydogama sp. nov. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 76: 101-8 (see also Bischoff, H. W. and Bold, H. C. 1963, Phycological Studies IV Some soil algae from Enchanted Rock and related algal species, Univ. Texas Publ. 6318: 1-95, and Stein, J. (ED.) Handbook of Phycological Methods, Culture methods and growth measurements, Cambridge University Press, pp. 7-24). The supplemental nutrient supply 18 is supplied for supplementing the nutrients provided within the reaction zone, such as “Bold\'s Basal Medium”, or one or more dissolved components thereof. In this respect, in some embodiments, for example, the supplemental nutrient supply 18 includes “Bold\'s Basal Medium”. In some embodiments for example, the supplemental nutrient supply 18 includes one or more dissolved components of “Bold\'s Basal Medium”, such as NaNO3, CaCl2, MgSO4, KH2PO4, NaCl, or other ones of its constituent dissolved components.

In some of these embodiments, the rate of supply of the supplemental nutrient supply 18 to the reaction zone 10 is controlled to align with a desired rate of growth of the phototrophic biomass in the reaction zone 10. In some embodiments, for example, regulation of nutrient addition is monitored by measuring any combination of pH, NO3 concentration, and conductivity in the reaction zone 10.

In some embodiments, for example, a supply of the supplemental aqueous material supply 20 is effected to the reaction zone 10 so as to replenish water within the reaction zone 10 of the photobioreactor 12. In some embodiments, for example, and as further described below, the supplemental aqueous material supply 20 effects the discharge of product from the photobioreactor 12 by displacement. For example, the supplemental aqueous material supply 20 effects the discharge of product from the photobioreactor 12 as an overflow.

In some embodiments, for example, the supplemental aqueous material is water or substantially water. In some embodiments, for example, the supplemental aqueous material supply 20 includes at least one of: (a) aqueous material that has been condensed from the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide while the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide is being cooled before being supplied to the contacting zone 34, and (b) aqueous material that has been separated from a discharged phototrophic biomass-comprising product 202 (see below). In some embodiments, for example, the supplemental aqueous material supply 20 is derived from an independent source (i.e., a source other than the process), such as a municipal water supply 203.

In some embodiments, for example, the supplemental aqueous material supply 20 is supplied from a container that has collected aqueous material recovered from discharges from the process, such as: (a) aqueous material that has been condensed from the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide while the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide is being cooled before being supplied to the contacting zone, and (b) aqueous material that has been separated from a discharged phototrophic biomass-comprising product 202. In some embodiments, for example, the container is in the form of a settling column 212 (see below).

In some embodiments, for example, the supplemental nutrient supply 18 is mixed with the supplemental aqueous material 20 to provide a nutrient-enriched supplemental aqueous material supply 22, and the nutrient-enriched supplemental aqueous material supply 22 is supplied to the reaction zone 10. In some embodiments, for example, the supplemental nutrient supply 18 is mixed with the supplemental aqueous material 20 within the container which has collected the discharged aqueous material. In some embodiments, for example, the supply of the nutrient-enriched supplemental aqueous material supply 18 is effected by a pump.

An operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed is provided. The operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed includes carbon dioxide and one or more other materials. The operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed includes at least a fraction of the gaseous exhaust material 14, and the at least a fraction of the gaseous exhaust material 14 of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed defines supplied gaseous exhaust material. The carbon dioxide that is supplied to the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed from the gaseous exhaust material producing process 16 defines supplied exhausted carbon dioxide. The supplied exhausted carbon dioxide is defined by at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed includes supplied exhausted carbon dioxide. In some embodiments, for example, the carbon dioxide of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed is defined by the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide. In some embodiments, for example, the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed is defined by supplied gaseous exhaust material.

In some embodiments, for example, the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed includes one or more other materials supplied from the gaseous exhaust material 14, other than carbon dioxide, that are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10. Examples of such materials include SOX, NOX, and NH3.

The gaseous exhaust material producing process 16 includes any process which effects production and discharge of the gaseous exhaust material 14. In some embodiments, for example, at least a fraction of the gaseous exhaust material 14 being discharged by the gaseous exhaust material producing process 16 is supplied to the reaction zone 10. The at least a fraction of the gaseous exhaust material 14, being discharged by the gaseous exhaust material producing process 16, and supplied to the reaction zone 10, includes carbon dioxide derived from the gaseous exhaust material producing process 16. In some embodiments, for example, the gaseous exhaust material producing process 16 is a combustion process. In some embodiments, for example, the combustion process is effected in a combustion facility. In some of these embodiments, for example, the combustion process effects combustion of a fossil fuel, such as coal, oil, or natural gas. For example, the combustion facility is any one of a fossil fuel-fired power plant, an industrial incineration facility, an industrial furnace, an industrial heater, or an internal combustion engine. In some embodiments, for example, the combustion facility is a cement kiln.

The operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed is treated so as to effect production of a carbon dioxide-rich product material 26. In some embodiments, the carbon dioxide-rich product material 26 is gaseous. The carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-rich product material 26 defines concentrated reaction zone supply carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide concentration of the carbon dioxide-rich product material 26 is greater than the carbon dioxide concentration of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed. The carbon dioxide-rich product material 26 includes at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide, such that the concentrated reaction zone supply carbon dioxide includes at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide. In some embodiments, the concentrated reaction zone supply carbon dioxide is defined by at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide. As such, the carbon dioxide-rich product material 26 includes at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide, such that the concentrated reaction zone supply carbon dioxide includes at least a fraction of produced carbon dioxide. In some embodiments, the concentrated reaction zone supply carbon dioxide is defined by at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide.

In some embodiments, for example, the carbon dioxide-rich product material 26 includes one or more other materials supplied from the gaseous exhaust material 14, other than carbon dioxide, that are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10. Examples of such materials include SOX, NOX, and NH3.

In some embodiments, the treating of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed includes effecting separation, from a separation process feed material 24, of a carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28. The separation process feed material 24 is defined by at least a fraction of the operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed 24. The carbon dioxide-rich product material 26 includes at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28. In some embodiments, for example, the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28 is gaseous. The carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28 includes at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide, and, in some embodiments, for example, is defined by at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide. As such, the carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28 includes at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide, and, in some embodiments, for example, the carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28 is defined by at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide. In some embodiments, for example, the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28 includes one or more other materials supplied from the gaseous exhaust material 14, other than carbon dioxide, that are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10. Examples of such materials include SOX, NOX, and NH3.

In some embodiments, for example, the separation process feed material 24 includes one or more other materials, other than carbon dioxide. In some embodiments, for example, the one or more other materials of the separation process feed material 24 are supplied from the gaseous exhaust material 14 and are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10. Examples of such materials include SOX, NOX, and NH3.

The ratio of [moles of carbon dioxide within the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28] to [moles of the one or more other materials of the separation process feed material 24 within the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28] is greater than the ratio of [moles of carbon dioxide within the separation process feed material 24] to [moles of the one or more other materials of the separation process feed material 24 within the separation process feed material 24]. In some embodiments, for example, the concentration of carbon dioxide within the carbon dioxide-rich fraction 28 is greater than the concentration of carbon dioxide within the separation process feed material 24.

The carbon dioxide-rich product material 26 includes at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28, such that the concentrated reaction zone supply carbon dioxide includes at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28. In some embodiments, for example, the concentrated reaction zone supply carbon dioxide is defined by at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28.

In some embodiments, for example, the effecting separation, from the separation process feed material, of a carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28, includes contacting the separation process feed material 24 with an operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30, so as to effect production of an intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture 32 including dissolved carbon dioxide. The contacting effects solvation (or dissolution) of at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide within the operative solvation agent, and thereby effects production of the dissolved carbon dioxide. In some embodiments, for example, the contacting also effects solvation (or dissolution) of at least a fraction of the one or more other materials within the separation process feed material 24. In some embodiments, for example, the one or more other materials that are solvated (or dissolved) are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10. Examples of such materials include SOX, NOX, and NH3.

The intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture 32 includes a carbon dioxide-comprising solution intermediate, wherein the carbon dioxide-comprising solution intermediate includes the dissolved carbon dioxide. The dissolved carbon dioxide includes at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide, and, in some embodiments, is defined by at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide. In this respect, the dissolved carbon dioxide includes at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide, and in some embodiments, is defined by at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide. In some embodiments, for example, the carbon dioxide-comprising solution intermediate also includes the one or more other materials supplied by the separation process feed material 24 that are solvated (or dissolved) and that are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10. Examples of such materials include SOX, NOX, and NH3.

It is understood that the contacting may also effect solvation (or dissolution) of at least a fraction of the one or more other materials of the separation process feed material 24, but only to an extent that the above-described relationship of the ratio of [moles of carbon dioxide within the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28] to [moles of the one or more other materials of the separation process feed material 24 within the carbon dioxide-rich separation fraction 28] and the ratio of [moles of carbon dioxide within the separation process feed material 24] to [moles of the one or more other materials of the separation process feed material within the separation process feed material 24] is maintained.

The contacting also effects production of a carbon dioxide-depleted gaseous intermediate, such that the intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture 32 includes the carbon dioxide-depleted gaseous intermediate. The carbon dioxide-depleted gaseous intermediate includes a fraction of the separation process feed material 24. The ratio of [moles of carbon dioxide within the separation process feed material 24] to [moles of the other one or more materials of the separation process feed material 24 within the separation process feed material feed 24] is greater than the ratio of [moles of carbon dioxide within the carbon dioxide-depleted gaseous intermediate] to [moles of the other one or more materials of the separation process feed material 24 within the carbon dioxide-depleted gaseous intermediate].

In some embodiments, for example, the contacting of the separation process feed material 24 with an operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 26 effects solvation (or dissolution) of a fraction of the separation process feed material 24 such that a material depleted operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed is provided, and the material depleted operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising gaseous material feed includes, and, in some embodiments, is defined by, the carbon dioxide-depleted gaseous intermediate.

In some embodiments, for example, the one or more other materials of the separation process feed material 24 includes at least one relatively less soluble material. Relative to carbon dioxide, each one of the at least one relatively less soluble material is less soluble within the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent, when the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent is disposed within the contacting zone. Examples of the relatively less soluble material include N2, O2, and CO.

In some embodiments, for example, the contacting is effected in a contacting zone 34.

In some embodiments, for example, the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30 is aqueous material. In some embodiments, for example, the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30 is water or substantially water, and the contacting is effected in a contacting zone 34 including a pressure of between 10 psia and 25 psia and a temperature of between two (2) degrees Celsius and four (4) degrees Celsius. In some embodiments, for example, the pressure is atmospheric and the temperature is three (3) degrees Celsius.

In some embodiments, for example, the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30 is provided within the contacting zone 34 in the form of a mist by supplying the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 34 to the contacting zone 34 through a spray nozzle 36. In some embodiments, for example, the spray nozzle 36 includes a plurality of substantially uniformly spaced-apart nozzles to maximize volumetric exchange of gas into the water droplets. Providing the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30 in the form of a mist increases the contact surface area between the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30 and the separation process feed material 24 being contacted. In some embodiments, for example, the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent discharging from the spray nozzle 36 includes a droplet size of between 10 and 2000 microns. In some embodiments, the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30 is discharged through the spray nozzle 36 at a temperature of between two (2) degrees Celsius and four (4) degrees Celsius. In some embodiments, for example, the temperature of the discharged operative solvation (or dissolution) agent is three (3) degrees Celsius.

In some embodiments, for example, the contacting zone 34 is provided within a contacting tank 38. In some embodiments, for example, the contacting tank 38 contains a contacting zone liquid material 40 disposed within the contacting zone. In some embodiments, for example, the contacting zone liquid material 40 includes a vertical extent of between one (1) foot and five (5) feet. In some embodiments, for example, the contacting zone liquid material 40 is disposed at the bottom of the contacting tank 38. The contacting zone liquid material 40 includes the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30. In some embodiments, for example, the contacting zone liquid material 40 includes at least a fraction of the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30 that has been introduced to the contacting zone 34 through the spray nozzle 36. In some of these embodiments, for example, the contacting zone liquid material 40 includes at least a fraction of the operative solvation (or dissolution) agent 30 that has been introduced to the contacting zone 34 through the spray nozzle 36 and has collected at the bottom of the contacting zone tank 38. In some embodiments, for example, the contacting zone liquid material 40 includes at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide-comprising solution intermediate. In some of these embodiments, for example, the contacting zone liquid material 40 includes carbon dioxide-comprising solution intermediate that has collected at the bottom of the contacting zone tank 38. The separation feed material 24 is flowed through the contacting zone liquid material 40 upon its introduction to the contacting zone 34. In some embodiments, for example, the separation feed material 24 is introduced to the contacting zone liquid material 40 through a sparger.

Separation of a carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 is effected from the intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture 32. The carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 includes at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide-comprising solution intermediate, and, in some embodiments, is defined by at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide-comprising solution intermediate, such that the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 includes at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide, and, in this respect, includes at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide. In this respect, the carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 includes at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide, and, in some embodiments, is defined by at least a fraction of the supplied exhausted carbon dioxide. Also in this respect, the carbon dioxide of the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 includes at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide, and, in some embodiments, is defined by at least a fraction of the produced carbon dioxide.

In some embodiments, for example, the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 includes the one or more other materials supplied by the separation process feed material 24 that are solvated (or dissolved) within the contacting zone 34 and that are beneficial to the growth of the phototrophic biomass within the reaction zone 10. Examples of such materials include SOX, NOX, and NH3.

In some embodiments, for example, the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 includes dissolved carbon dioxide and at least one of SOx and NOx.

In some embodiments, for example, the separation of the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 from the intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture 32 includes separation by gravity separation. In some embodiments, for example, the separation is effected in the contacting zone 34.

In some embodiments, for example, the separation of the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 from the intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture 32 effects separation of a gaseous contacting operation by-product 44 from the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42. The gaseous contacting operation by-product 44 includes at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide-depleted gaseous intermediate, and, in some embodiments, for example, is defined by at least a fraction of the carbon dioxide-depleted gaseous intermediate.

In some embodiments, for example, in parallel with the separation of the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 from the intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture 32, depletion of the carbon dioxide, and, in some embodiments, of one or more other materials, from within the intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture 32 is effected, such that separation of a material depleted intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture from the carbon dioxide-comprising liquid solution product 42 is effected, wherein the material depleted intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture includes the gaseous contacting operation by-product 44. In some embodiments, for example, the material depleted intermediate operative carbon dioxide supply-comprising mixture is defined by the gaseous contacting operation by-product 44.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120276633 A1
Publish Date
11/01/2012
Document #
13095490
File Date
04/27/2011
USPTO Class
435420
Other USPTO Classes
4352571, 435243, 47/14
International Class
/
Drawings
3



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