SOₓ/NOₓ Removal from Flue Gas Streams by Solid Adsorbents: A Review of Current Challenges and Future Directions


One of the main challenges in the power and chemical industries is to remove generated toxic or environmentally harmful gases before atmospheric emission. To comply with stringent environmental and pollutant emissions control regulations, coal-fired power plants must be equipped with new technologies that are efficient and less energy-intensive than status quo technologies for flue gas cleanup. While conventional sulfur oxide (SOₓ) and nitrogen oxide (NOₓ) removal technologies benefit from their large-scale implementation and maturity, they are quite energy-intensive. In view of this, the development of lower-cost, less energy-intensive technologies could offer an advantage. Significant energy and cost savings can potentially be realized by using advanced adsorbent materials. One of the major barriers to the development of such technologies remains the development of materials that are efficient and productive in removing flue gas contaminants. In this review, adsorption-based removal of SOₓ/NOₓ impurities from flue gas is discussed, with a focus on important attributes of the solid adsorbent materials as well as implementation of the materials in conventional and emerging acid gas removal technologies. The requirements for effective adsorbents are noted with respect to their performance, key limitations, and suggested future research directions. The final section includes some key areas for future research and provides a possible roadmap for the development of technologies for the removal of flue gas impurities that are more efficient and cost-effective than status quo approaches.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Adsorbents; Chemical Industry; Coal; Cost Effectiveness; Costs; Environmental Regulations; Environmental Technology; Flue Gases; Flues; Fossil Fuel Power Plants; Gas Adsorption; Gas Emissions; Gas Plants; Gases; Ionization of Gases; Nitrogen Oxides; Nitrogen Removal; Removal; Acid Gas Removal; Adsorbent Materials; Atmospheric Emission; Coal-Fired Power Plant; Energy and Cost Savings; Future Research Directions; Gas Contaminants; Pollutant Emissions Control; Impurities

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0887-0624; 1520-5029

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2015