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Optimisation of CO2 Capture Plants Using Rectisol®

Influence of Vacuum Stages and CO2 Pressure Before Compression on Overall Utility Consumption

Rectisol® provides CO2 products at low pressures. An increase of the delivery pressures
reduces the efficiency of Rectisol® but saves at the same time more energy at the CO2
compressor for applications where high pressure CO2 is needed. At specific pressure
levels an optimal overall utility consumption will be reached. A further increase in these
pressures will lead to higher operating costs.
In the examined plants vacuum stages in the Rectisol® are necessary to reach Claus Gas
specification of 25 % H2S. Nitrogen stripping would lead to undesired nitrogen in the
CO2 product for sequestration. Furthermore flashing at vacuum pressure leads to low
temperatures, which reduce methanol circulation rates and energy needed for
refrigeration. These savings are bigger than the power consumption of the vacuum
Clean Syngas

Raw Syngas



High Pressure CO2



Acid Gas

Figure 1: Gas Conditioning of a Syngas plant with CO2 capture using Rectisol®

Object of examination is a plant with Carbon Capture. After Coal Gasification and Water Gas
Shift, sulphur and CO2 are removed in a Rectisol® unit. The clean Syngas can be used in units
downstream. CO2 is compressed to 80 bar(a) for sequestration. Sulphur components are
collected in an Acid Gas stream, which can be treated by a Claus unit. A refrigeration unit is
needed for cooling the Rectisol®. Raw Gas composition and product specifications are given
in Table1 and Table 2.
Table 1: Raw Gas composition of the ref. plant

Carbon Dioxide
Carbon Monoxide
Hydrogen Sulphide
Temperature [°C]
Pressure [bar(a)]


Table 2: Product specifications of the ref. plant

Clean Syngas:
CO2 Capture 97 %
CO2 Products:
1.2 bar(a) + 3.3 bar(a)
H2S < 10 ppmv
Compression to 80 bar(a)
(4 stages with intercooling)
Acid Gas:
H2S > 25 %

revised: KaMa, 2007-09-28
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C:\Benutzer\Documents\Technologien\02.01 Rectisol\Optimisation of CO2 Capture Plants Using Rectisol.doc

Optimisation of capital costs is not part of this examination. Therefore the Raw Gas composition and properties remain constant for the plant variations examined. This is the main source of the increased overall utility consumption. higher pressures in the upper parts of the Reabsorber.doc . as well as the sulphur specification of the CO2 product. Also. flashing at higher pressures leads to higher utility consumption of the Rectisol® unit. Refrigeration for Rectisol®. and even more important: Flashing out CO2 cools down the methanol. revised: KaMa. 2007-09-28 Page 2 of 4 C:\Benutzer\Documents\Technologien\02. Furthermore a rise in the CO2 pressures adds to the pressure difference the vacuum blower has to overcome. Absorber MP-Flash Reabsorber Hot Regenerator LP-CO2 (CO2 Compressor) MP-CO2 (CO2 Compressor) Claus Gas (OxyClaus) GT Fuel Gas Impure Water Raw Syn Gas Figure 2: Simplified PFD of Rectisol® Two changes in Rectisol® (Figure 2) are examined: The first is higher CO2 delivery pressures to compression.Aim of this study is to optimise the overall utility consumption of a Syngas plant with carbon capture using Rectisol®. leading to higher preloading of the main wash methanol and therefore to higher methanol circulation rates.2 bar(a) and 3. The changes influence Rectisol®. and CO2 Compression. These three units are contained in the battery limits of this study (Figure 1). All other units are not influenced by the changes as long as the product specifications are reached.e. The product specifications of the plant are fixed. The Clean Syngas and Claus Gas specifications are also not changed. Less carbon dioxide is flashed out of the methanol. i. For sequestration these streams are compressed to 80 bar(a) in a compressor with 4 stages and intercooling with cooling water. An increase in the suction pressure of the compressor leads to a considerable decrease of energy consumption.01 Rectisol\Optimisation of CO2 Capture Plants Using Rectisol. The second scenario is a Rectisol® without a vacuum stage at the bottom of the Reabsorber. Therefore flashing at higher pressure leads to higher temperature of the washing methanol. The pressures of the two CO2 streams are increased in steps of equal sizes. CO2 pressure before compression: Rectisol® provides two CO2 streams with different pressures (here: 1.3 bar(a)) due to the regeneration principle of flashing. This has to be compensated by increasing the methanol circulation. On the other hand.

7 % – 0. + 2 bar(a) (1.2 % + 3.0 % – 0.5 % – 1.8 % – 3.5 2.05 bar(a)) (2.2 bars 1+ 4.4 % – 0.2 bar(a) +3.5 bar(a) CO2 Pressure Before Compress.Starting from low CO2 pressures.01 Rectisol\Optimisation of CO2 Capture Plants Using Rectisol.5 % – 2.5 % +1.5 % – 3.3 bars Pressures of CO2 Products before Compression Figure 3: Overall plant duty over pressures of CO2 products before compression Table 3: Relative utility consumptions for variants of Rectisol® units in Carbon Capture plants Reference Plant: (1.6 % – 1.5 % – 2.5 Overall Plant Duty [kW] (exemplary for a Plant of 452 000 Nm²/h) Overall Plant Duty [%] (Rectisol + Refrigeration + CO2 Compression) 102 37802 3.1.9 % – 0.2 % – 2.3 bars 1.3 bar(a)) (3.5 % – 0.4 % + 25. increasing pressure first reduces the duty of compression more than the utility consumption of Rectisol® rises (Figure 3. At CO2 pressures of approximately 2 bar(a) and 4.7 % .4 % + 13.1 bar(a) for the two streams the overall utility consumption shows a minimum.1 % – 0.8 % + 0.5 % – 1.6 % + 3. Table 3).6 % – 1.3 % – 0.7 % – 1.3 % – 1.2 bars 0 + 3. 100 41090 98 40268 96 39446 94 38624 92 1. + 0.2 % revised: KaMa. + 0.5 % + 3. 2007-09-28 Page 3 of 4 C:\Benutzer\Documents\Technologien\02.2 bar(a) +4. + 1 bar CO2 Pressure Before Compress.3 bar(a)) Excluding CO2 compressor: Steam 100 % Cooling Water 100 % Refrigeration Duty 100 % Overall 100 % Power Consumption Including CO2 compressor: Steam 100 % Cooling Water 100 % Refrigeration Duty 100 % Overall 100 % Power Consumption CO2 Pressure Before Compress.8 % + 0.75 bar(a) CO2 Pressure Before Compress.5 % + 1.1 % – 0. At further pressure increases the additional power consumption of Rectisol® begins to surpass the savings in compression.9 % + 8.2 bar(a) +3.95 bar(a) +4.3 bars 0.2 % – 0.3 bar(a)) – 1.2 bars2+ 5.doc .8 bar(a)) (1.7 bar(a) +3.

At certain pressures (here: 2 bar(a) and 4. like discussed above. One is to incorporate nitrogen stripping at the lower part of the Reabsorber.1 bar(a)) a minimum overall utility consumption is reached before the efficiency losses in Rectisol® surpass the savings in compression. Table 4: Relative utility consumptions for variants of Rectisol® units in Carbon Capture plants Reference Plant Without Vacuum Stages Excluding CO2 compressor: Steam Cooling Water Refrigeration Duty Overall Power Consumption 100 % 100 % 100 % 100 % + 33.Vacuum stages: There are two possibilities to reach the Claus Gas specification with the given Raw Gas. flashing at higher pressures (not vacuum) leads to an increase in utility consumption of Rectisol®. The plant examined uses vacuum stages to flash out carbon dioxide and thus enrich sulphur components. In the reference plant 7 % H2S in the Claus Gas are observed.01 Rectisol\Optimisation of CO2 Capture Plants Using Rectisol. Second. 2007-09-28 Page 4 of 4 C:\Benutzer\Documents\Technologien\02. This option leads to nitrogen in the CO2 product. The idea to save the energy consumption of the blower by skipping the vacuum stages to reduce energy consumption leads to two consequences: First.1 % + 14.7 % + 5. which support absorption and therefore reduce methanol circulation and refrigeration duty. For the reference plant a vacuum stage is needed to reach the Claus Gas specification.1 % + 30.7 % + 13. revised: KaMa. the specification of the Claus Gas cannot be reached.doc . Altogether skipping the vacuum stages leads to an increase in total energy consumption of 5.7 % in the reference plant (see table 1) and Claus Gas far off specification (7 % instead of 25 % H2S). A vacuum blower keeps the pressure difference to the rest of the plant. 7 % Conclusion: At low CO2 pressures before compression a pressure increase leads to bigger savings in compression energy than losses in the Rectisol® unit through decreased efficiency. These savings are bigger than the power consumption of the vacuum blower.7 % Claus Gas 25 % max.4 % + 80. Furthermore flashing at low pressures leads to low temperatures.4 % + 80.1 % Including CO2 compressor: Steam Cooling Water Refrigeration Duty Overall Power Consumption 100 % 100 % 100 % 100 % + 33.