Research area: Degradation of Amine Solvents

Research sponsor: DECC, Carbon Clean Solutions

Project overview

Comparing and understanding the degradation and corrosion of various individual amine solvents and mixtures for use in carbon capture plants.

The development of carbon capture capabilities has become an area of enormous importance in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Currently ethanolamine (MEA) remains the singly most popular amine solvents for use in carbon capture plants. However, researchers recognize the limitations of MEA and are looking for superior alternative solvents or blends. Some work has focused on various individual solvents; however, only a small number of studies have tried to apply this knowledge and investigate mixtures.

The study of degradation is conducted in made for purpose reactors operated in batch mode to look at both the thermal and oxidative pathways, the former caused by high temperatures and the latter by the presence of oxygen. We are seeking to compare these amine solvents in respect to both pathways. Analysis, of the degradation is principally carried out on the liquid samples using GCMS. Some gaseous samples are also collected and analyzed.

Increasingly concern has been focused on the corrosion occurring to plant equipment due to the great capital expense. This work seeks to address the corrosion of these popular amine solvents (and mixtures) on steels commonly employed in carbon capture plants. To accomplish this we use various traditionally and electrochemical methods to gain insights on not only the microscopic (and eventually macroscopic) structural changes but also the chemistry occurring to produce said changes.

1. C. Gouedard, D. Picq, F. Launay and P.-L. Carrette , ““Amine degradation in CO2 capture. I. A review ”International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control(2012),10, 244-70.