Performance Evaluation of a New Novel Amine Bi-Blend Solvent in a Catalyst Aided CO2 Capture Process in a Full Cycle Mini Pilot Plant

By: Sophia Ekanem

The amine-based post-combustion capture method utilizes reactive solvents, amines, to absorb CO2 from industrial flue gas. Despite its proven success, this method faces a significant challenge due to its high energy requirements. Efforts have been made to enhance the process’s efficiency, particularly in reducing its energy demand. One such endeavor involves the development of solvents with tailored properties. Avor et al.’s work in 2022 focused on creating a novel bi-blend solvent, which exhibited a 57% decrease in heat of desorption compared to the standard solvent, 5M MEA.

Another avenue for improving the efficiency of CO2 capture involves introducing a catalyst. Catalysts are known to expedite reactions by lowering their activation energies. Consequently, faster reactions lead to increased cyclic capacity, reduced absorber and stripper sizes, and decreased energy requirements during solvent regeneration.

This study is twofold. Firstly, it aims to evaluate the performance of the novel bi-blend solvent (developed by Avor et al., 2023) with or without catalyst in a bench-scale pilot plant. Various performance factors—such as mass transfer coefficient, heat duty, CO2 loading, cyclic loading, absorption and desorption rates, degradation and ammonia emissions will be examined under different operating conditions.

Secondly, the study involves subjecting the solvent to impurities mimicking industrial flue gas compositions. This aims to determine the degradation rate and identify and quantify emitted products in both catalytic and non-catalytic systems.

Successful outcomes from these investigations will not only endorse the use of the novel amine in catalytic CO2 absorption from power industry flue gas as an environmentally sustainable approach but also establish it as an energy-efficient process ripe for commercialization.