Energy from CO2 using capacitive electrodes – A model for energy extraction cycles

J.M. Paz-García, J.E. Dykstra, P.M. Biesheuvel, H.V.M. Hamelers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A model is presented for the process of harvesting electrical energy from CO2 emissions using capacitive cells. The principle consists of controlling the mixing process of a concentrated CO2 gas stream with a dilute CO2 gas stream (as, for example, exhaust gas and air), thereby converting part of the released mixing energy into electrical energy. The model describes the transient reactive transport of CO2 gas absorbed in water or in monoethanolamine (MEA) solutions, under the assumption of local chemical equilibrium. The model combines the selective transport of ions through ion-exchange membranes, the accumulation of charge in the porous carbon electrodes and the coupling between the ionic current and the produced electrical current and power. We demonstrate that the model can be used to calculate the energy that can be extracted by mixing concentrated and dilute CO2 containing gas streams. Our calculation results for the process using MEA solutions have various counterintuitive features, including: 1. When dynamic equilibrium is reached in the cyclical process, the electrical charge in the anode is negative both during charging and discharging; 2. Placing an anion-exchange membrane (AEM) in the system is not required, the energy per cycle is just as large with or without an AEM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • CO2 absorption
  • CO2 energy
  • Mixing energy
  • Monoethanolamine
  • Porous electrodes
  • Reactive-transport model


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