Membrane Distillation-Crystallization for Sustainable Carbon Utilization and Storage

Kofi S.S. Christie, Allyson McGaughey, Samantha A. McBride, Xiaohui Xu, Rodney D. Priestley, Zhiyong Jason Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from power plants can be limited using postcombustion carbon dioxide capture by amine-based solvents. However, sustainable strategies for the simultaneous utilization and storage of carbon dioxide are limited. In this study, membrane distillation-crystallization is used to facilitate the controllable production of carbonate minerals directly from carbon dioxide-loaded amine solutions and waste materials such as fly ash residues and waste brines from desalination. To identify the most suitable conditions for carbon mineralization, we vary the membrane type, operating conditions, and system configuration. Feed solutions with 30 wt % monoethanolamine are loaded with 5-15% CO2 and heated to 40-50 °C before being dosed with 0.18 M Ca2+ and Mg2+. Membranes with lower surface energy and greater roughness are found to more rapidly promote mineralization due to up to 20% greater vapor flux. Lower operating temperature improves membrane wetting tolerance by 96.2% but simultaneously reduces crystal growth rate by 48.3%. Sweeping gas membrane distillation demonstrates a 71.6% reduction in the mineralization rate and a marginal improvement (37.5%) on membrane wetting tolerance. Mineral identity and growth characteristics are presented, and the analysis is extended to explore the potential improvements for carbon mineralization as well as the feasibility of future implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16628-16640
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 31 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


  • amine solution
  • carbon dioxide
  • carbonate minerals
  • flue gas
  • membrane crystallization
  • scrubbing
  • wastewater


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