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Published by: Jasneet Singh on Jul 04, 2012
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This article was downloaded by: [Indian Institute of Petroleum]On: 20 June 2012, At: 01:48Publisher: Taylor & FrancisInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
Mathematical and Computer Modellingof Dynamical Systems: Methods, Toolsand Applications in Engineering andRelated Sciences
Publication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/nmcm20
CO
2
removal by absorption: challengesin modelling
L.E. Øi
aa
Department of Technology, Telemark University College, PO Box203, N-3901, Porsgrunn, NorwayAvailable online: 15 Jul 2010
To cite this article:
L.E. Øi (2010): CO
2
removal by absorption: challenges in modelling,Mathematical and Computer Modelling of Dynamical Systems: Methods, Tools and Applications inEngineering and Related Sciences, 16:6, 511-533
To link to this article:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13873954.2010.491676
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLEFull terms and conditions of use:http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionsThis article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representationthat the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of anyinstructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primarysources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings,demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
 
CO
2
removal by absorption: challenges in modelling
L.E. Øi*
 Department of Technology, Telemark University College, PO Box 203, N-3901 Porsgrunn, Norway
(
 Received 4 September 2009; final version received 5 May 2010
)The traditional method for large-scale CO
2
removal is by absorption in a mixture of anamine and water. The tasks of modelling this process can be divided into descriptions of absorption and reaction kinetics, gas/liquid equilibrium, gas and liquid flows and pressuredrop. Process simulation tools containing models for most of these tasks are commerciallyavailable, andthe calculatedresultscanbeusedasa basis for equipment dimensioning andeconomical optimization. A flowsheet calculation in the program Aspen HYSYS
®
is usedasanexample.Calculationconvergenceisimportant,especiallythecolumnconvergenceiscritical. For some simplified conditions, calculation of stage efficiencies can give satisfactory description of the absorption process. Computational fluid dynamics is anefficient tool for calculating flow conditions, pressure drop and temperature profiles,especially for one-fluid phase. An unsolved problem when using computational fluiddynamics for gas/liquid processes is the description of the gas/liquid interfacial area. Amajor challenge is to combine different models and calculation tools. An improved modelfora specific taskmustbe availableand possibletocombine withothercalculation toolsto be utilized by other programs. In an example, models for equilibrium and mass transfer efficiency are used in a flowsheet calculation including CO
2
absorption and desorption,followed by economical optimization. The example illustrates some possibilities,limitations and challenges.
Keywords:
CO
2
; amine; absorption; simulation; modelling; efficiency
1. Introduction
CO
2
has beenremoved fromprocess streams atanindustrialscale since about 1930.The most important removal processes have been from natural gas and in the removal of CO
2
fromindustrial gases at high pressures for ammonia and methanol production. The main process isabsorptioninamixtureofanamineandwater.Othersolventslikecarbonatesaltsolutionshavealso been used. An overview of processes can be found in Kohl and Nielsen [1].CO
2
removal from exhaust gases has received much interest because of the environ-mentalneedforreducingCO
2
emissionstothe atmosphere.Manyprocessesforremovalof CO
2
from power plants or other exhaust gases have been suggested. The emphasis here is put on post-combustion absorption in an amine-based solvent. This is the most relevant method for gas-based power plants in the near future. The technology is relatively matureand can be utilized by existing plants with little modification. Absorption is traditionally performedina columnwithplates,random packingor structuredpacking;CO
2
-containinggas flows upwards and the absorption liquid flows downwards. The absorbed CO
2
isregenerated in a desorption column, and the solvent is recirculated to the absorption
 Mathematical and Computer Modelling of Dynamical Systems
Vol. 16, No. 6, December 2010, 511
 – 
533*Email: lars.oi@hit.no
ISSN 1387-3954 print/ISSN 1744-5051 online© 2010 Taylor & FrancisDOI: 10.1080/13873954.2010.491676http://www.informaworld.com
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   I  n   d   i  a  n   I  n  s   t   i   t  u   t  e  o   f   P  e   t  r  o   l  e  u  m   ]  a   t   0   1  :   4   8   2   0   J  u  n  e   2   0   1   2
 
column. A removal process consisting of absorption, desorption, heat exchangers andauxiliary equipment is shown in Figure 1.The main challenges in modelling the CO
2
removal are in the absorption and desorption processes. The absorption column is the largest and most expensive unit, and the most important chemical reactions take place in this column. The main energy consumption is inthe reboiler connected to the desorption column. Equipment units like heat exchangers and pumps in the CO
2
removal process are little different from similar equipment in other chemical processes.In CO
2
absorption and desorption, the modelling challenges can be divided into thefollowing tasks:
Absorption and reaction kinetics
Gas/liquid equilibrium
Gas and liquid flows
Pressure dropCalculation methods for most of these tasks have been available for a long time.Danckwerts and Sharma [2] wrote a review as early as in 1966. When computers wereintroduced for chemicalengineering calculations,computer programs were made to performthese calculations. The calculations can also be extended to comprise tools for, for example,mechanical equipment dimensioning, cost estimation and economical optimization.Several commercial process simulation programs have included models especially for the amine/water/CO
2
system. Examples of such programs are Aspen HYSYS
®
, AspenPlus
®
, Pro/II
®
and ProMax
®
. These programs have built-in models especially for vapour/ liquid equilibrium and calculation tools especially for column solving. Some of them alsohave kinetic models available. Most of the tasks in the list above can be handled in a processsimulation program.Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling can be used to calculate the flow phe-nomena in absorption and desorption columns. This can then be used to calculate liquid hold-up, pressure drop and capacity. Fluent 
®
and CFX
®
are examples of commercial CFD programs. An optimistic aim for CFD modelling of absorption and desorption is to contributeto a complete, detailed and quantitative description of the absorption/desorption process.
Desorber  Amine cooleReboiler Condenser  Amine/amine exchanger Exhaust gasPurified gasProduct CO
2
CO
2
absorber 
Figure 1. A general CO
2
absorption and desorption process.
512
L.E. Øi
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   I  n   d   i  a  n   I  n  s   t   i   t  u   t  e  o   f   P  e   t  r  o   l  e  u  m   ]  a   t   0   1  :   4   8   2   0   J  u  n  e   2   0   1   2

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