BASF wants to use ionic liquids in power generation

02 August 2007 17:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--BASF and CogniTek Management Systems will look into new ways of using low grade heat in power generation utilising ionic liquids and super-critical carbon dioxide, the chemicals giant said on Thursday.

The companies said that a process could transform the heat from comparatively low temperature sources, including solar, geothermal, combustion waste heat and bottom cycling of existing power plants, into high value power generation.

It could help in the development of combined power generation system with integral heating and cooling co-products capable of saving substantial amounts of energy, they said.

“Ionic liquids are the perfect partner for super-critical carbon dioxide as the working fluid for high efficiency heat transfer," said Megan Turner, business development manager of the BASF Intermediates New Business Development unit in North America.

“Non-volatile, ionic liquids possess extraordinary physical properties that provide great efficiency," she said.

“Today’s rising energy costs dramatically increase the importance of energy conversion efficiency and thermal waste heat recovery," added CogniTek founder and Rexorce Thermionics president Michael Gurin. 

Rexorce is commercialising the Thermafficient thermal engine, based on an absorption heat pump licensed from NASA. 

“By taking advantage of the unique properties of ionic liquids and super-critical carbon dioxide, we believe that with the next-generation system we will be able to achieve higher power generation efficiencies and/or superior returns on capital,” he added.

BASF has developed award winning uses for ionic liquids: salts that are made up 100% percent of ions and are liquid at temperatures below 100°C. They are non-flammable, do not evaporate and exhibit high thermal stability.

The company’s BASIL technology can be used to process cellulose, in metal processing, metal plating, extractive distillation, liquid-to-liquid extraction, acid scavenging and acid catalysis.

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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