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Amine Scrubbing for CO2 Capture

Gary T. Rochelle, et al.
Science 325, 1652 (2009);
DOI: 10.1126/science.1176731

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Mackay (Heriot-Watt Univ. 31. Energy Research Centre. on October 4. Oldenburg. It is a robust technology and is ready to be tested and used on a larger scale scrubbing will probably be the dominant tech- for CO2 capture from coal-fired power plants. Rowlinson. Smith. Sutton. 2009). Ghaderi. Burnett. it was deemed to have unacceptable continued. 1808 (2007). Vuillaume.K. Trans. K. widely used technology. and was identified didate for government-funded research and devel. Company.. UK. Bows. the 22. (2. USA. KS-1. London. 1.. 32. Research Council. 590 (1923). The minimum work requirement to separate CO2 nology for CO2 capture from coal-fired power from coal-fired flue gas and compress CO2 to 150 bar is 0. in 2010 and 2011 (8. the U. for Carbon Storage (SCCS) Industry Consortium. 2 (2008). separate CO2 from flue gas using furization should teach us what to 20% monoethanolamine (MEA).1172246 Downloaded from www. Soc. However. S. nevertheless. 30 wt % MEA CO2 combustion gas near ambient temperature into an aqueous so- lution of amine with low volatility ing about 50% of the total power (Fig. 614 (2009).S.zeroemissionsplatform. A. A. S. combustion of clean fuels. Wilkinson. Other advanced technologies will not provide energy-efficient with aqueous amine is a well-understood and or timely solutions to CO2 emission from conventional coal-fired power plants. 29. and other gases with that is available to address this Pretreated to low oxygen. clientservice/ccsi/pdf/CCS_Assessing_the_Economics. Manage. 22. but was perceived to be too commercial and not worthy of government support. is funded by the Natural Environment Research Geology 37. R. the Engineering and Physical Sciences 21. London.S. Process and solvent improvements should reduce the energy consumption to . http://tinyurl. 30. V. R. 2009). gaining increasing atten. Hughes.sciencemag.-F. Rev.doe. J. S. Akhurst. was first evaluated in 1991 (4) Alabama. J. opment. The basic process.000 MW of power capacity. 354 (1955).fe. Anderson.11 megawatt-hours per metric ton plants in Leeds. “A carbon capture and storage network for Yorkshire 28. 2009).com.yorkshire-forward. Zero emissions platform: European technology platform. Global CCS Institute. the Scottish Funding Council. Procedia 1. Gilfillan et al. Sci. More than 20 plants use 30% deployment of technology for MEA on gases with substantial CO2 capture. London) discussed power E-mail: Amine scrubbing. London Ser. 12% CO2 45 psig steam postcombustion capture of CO2 5% O2 hydrogen. www. 2008 to 2009. Quinn (British strategies for increasing domestic oil production” (U. of CO2. www. especially Wilkinson.). 35 (2009). Naylor. M.S. 48. as an effective technology as early as 1965 (2). 2006). Energy Convers. 1 bar 1–2 bar leaving pure CO2 that can be genic climate change must reduce Packing compressed to 100 to 150 bar these emissions without closing or trays for geologic sequestration. markets” (Poyry Energy Consulting. expect in the development and Fig. R. and N. Lime or limestone slurry scrubbing performance. 230. for CO2 capture. TX 78712–0231. The amine is regenerated generated nationally and repre. J. C. R. A. “Ten basin-oriented CO2-EOR assessments examine www. UK. Four other demon- and now it is the dominant technology for flue gas stration projects using MEA. M. system: Synthesis report” (U. 2008). 20. 2. is one in which xisting coal-fired power CO2 is absorbed from a fuel gas or E plants in the United States have more than 300. M.2 CO2 removal by absorption and stripping megawatt-hour per ton of CO2. 3)] and beyond. programs/oilgas/eor/. Energy Research Centre.1126/science. A Math. as well as being too commercial.g. 9). KS-1. Phys.S. “Carbon capture and storage. egy for ameliorating anthropo. “Enhanced oil recovery/CO2 injection” ( www. and another Department of Chemical Engineering.H. Four coal-fired plants problem. Work on limestone slurry scrubbing More than 10 plants use a proprietary hindered However. www. (2008). 2777 (2009). Carbon Capture J. and the water is emissions. Lindeberg. Charnley. 36. the technology of choice 25-MW capacity will start up in Germany and gtr@che.) explained the 24. 1652 25 SEPTEMBER 2009 VOL 325 SCIENCE www. clientservice/ccsi/pathways_low_carbon_economy. DC.(5) and coal-fired plants (6) on a small scale in the early 1980s. pat- ented in 1930 (7). and the Scottish Centre 23. A. Council. including a gas-fired turbine with a flue for flue gas desulfurization was first applied at and therefore was considered an unworthy can. Washington. “Making the transition to a secure and low-carbon energy S. Todd and E. Fallick. Energy 35. Department 33. Austin.ilexenergy. Lu. A. Joule-Thomson effect. Carbon Capture and Sequestration 19.power plant that produces flue gas with 15% O2. The amine scrubbing process invented by Bottoms in 1930 (7). It Amine Scrubbing for CO2 Capture had been successfully applied to gas. these plants.sciencemag. and 27. Rochelle 2000. with flue gases produced by capital cost. Phys. O2 content.). <10 ppm SO2 with power outputs of 6 to 30 MW & 40°C The history of flue gas desul. E. S.K. http:// (McKinsey and Company. Gibbins (Imperial College. D. tinyurl. globalccsinstitute. Nature 458. “Pathways to a low carbon economy” (McKinsey & and Humber” (Yorkshire Forward. poor reliability. Washington. 1). Since Gary T. of Energy. 2009 and—like flue gas desulfurization—was deemed PERSPECTIVE to have unacceptable energy use and costs. Proc. J. assessing the economics” Geological Survey).asp. E. 34.gas rate equivalent to that of a 40-MW coal-fired two British plants in 1936 (1). amine hydrogen since 1930. 25. and 2005 to 2009. M. 3863 U. provid. and Markusson (Edinburgh Univ. Amine scrubbing is Hundreds of plants currently probably the only technology for Flue gas Reboiler remove CO2 from natural gas. Philos. www. 2009). Department of Energy has primarily supported R&D on other advanced Amine scrubbing has been used to separate carbon dioxide (CO2) from natural gas and technologies for CO2 capture. DC. USA. Any reasonable strat. M. M. I thank all at SCCS 26. R. 2009). Department of Energy. Brandani (Edinburgh Univ. Gilfillan. www. change the shape of the British and Irish electricity S. The University of desulfurization. R. 10. Townley. by stripping with water vapor at senting more than 30% of CO2 Packed 100° to 120°C. A 366. absorber Stripper condensed from the stripper vapor. proprietary amine at coal-fired plants of 5. and poor environmental tion through the 1970s [ Texas at Austin. “Impact of intermittency: How wind variability could for discussions.

existing plants. NOx. equivalent point of its development. Furthermore. atile amine emissions in the clean gas are easily ly larger. the expected work is example. so the net CO2 removal for the 2006 case would quate absorber performance with more dissolved it is unlikely that real membrane or adsorption be 74% and the assumed cost would include any CO2 in the rich and lean solvent. 100°C). and we should not expect to do much power production is required to meet peak load are expected to reduce the parasitic power demand better than 0. resulting in systems will compete with advanced amine CO2 penalty associated with gas combustion. reduced energy use by the stripper (12).37 lack of experience with full-scale installations. More expensive slurry scrubbing was demonstrated and deployed with amines other than MEA.sciencemag. If the tail-end system is unreliable or lost Improved solvents and process configurations additive.21 MWh/ton CO2 (11). even if they are otherwise stable. SPECIALSECTION A reasonable schedule of process scale-up costs of $700/kW (10) to $1000/kW (15) of treated absorber. successful systems. 12). This timing will over a year). there to $51 per ton. will be more eco- in less than 7 years. as required by development needs and regula- secondary environmental impact. commercialization of these sys- 30% MEA (13) and 22% with KS-1 (14). Solvents with greater capacity. will have to be replaced from less efficient or more output. equipment that will be used in parallel should require more complex gas pretreating to avoid sures to provide incentive for the expensive. methyldiethanolamine with PZ. and systems. oxycombustion relies on www. demonstration. of CO2 removal by amine scrubbing from the power loss.37 megawatt-hours (MWh) per metric ton of CO2 removed and the cost of CO2 removed from $82 0. limestone Reduced capital and energy costs will come fects of SO2. The other half is compressor solvent degradation will be minimized by efficient ment of oxycombustion and the integrated coal work to provide CO2 at 150 bar for transport and upstream equipment and including an alkaline gasification combined cycle (IGCC) necessarily sequestration. but at the expense of and applied in increments from 0. However. intercooled. Oxidative require and impact a complete power plant. The actual cost of the full impact of solvent regeneration by heating branes and pressure-swing adsorption are likely to replacement power will be specific to the local to a higher temperature and will require more be noncompetitive because of compression work.11 radation (16. In the ERCOT such as KS-1.2 MWh/ton CO2.24 MWh/ton CO2 by operating the stripper at CO2 removal ($/ton) is minimized. Capital cost ($/ton CO2 removed per year) 186 106 pleted on a 450-MW plant (Table 1). economic losses from process upsets and the ef- of-a-kind demonstration plants. Concentrated piperazine (PZ) is a ther. As in been built. and amine scrubbing is under. Improved process configurations such as ab. sitive to the value of replacement power. energy (11. tion can be minimized by operating the stripping tems will be delayed by the financial.19 to 0. Although no large plants have scrubber to remove the residual SO2. minimize sensible heat losses from adsorption is provided by real. like sive compressor trains produce expected capital avoided by a water wash section at the top of the membrane technology. However. if some absorption that is claimed to reduce power loss to oval probably represents the range where the cost of institution would assume the financial risk and the extra cost of a hastily designed and constructed Table 1. but it is the least expensive costly existing plants such as gas-fired combined MWh/ton CO2 (9). systems at lower temperature (e.. PZ will permit widespread deployment on plants capacity ($106 to $151 per ton of CO2 removed (17). nology that can be tested on existing power plants compressors to reduce capital cost. the estimated energy use with degradation can be minimized by additives such the use of fluidized bed combustion and IGCC optimized systems has decreased to 27% with as free-radical scavengers (16). In 2006 (10). @ $80/MWh ($/ton CO2 removed) 41 29 Two studies of MEA scrubbing have been com. (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) grid. such as about 0. 12). Large absorbers. vide more efficient systems to reduce energy sorber intercooling. Sol. extensive heat exchange re. The theoretical minimum work is 0. replacement power would be provided vents with a faster rate of CO2 absorption. In 2001. large single absorbers. that energy is low-temperature heat (steam) for $5/ton CO2. Therefore. force allowed for the separation itself.37 to 0. About half of amine and its losses are expected to be less than cycles. with no driving by combined cycle generation using natural gas. Claims of greater energy reduction for Therefore.g.28 MWh/ton CO2 (11. Net CO2 removal with power replaced by gas (%) 72 74 sign reduced energy expended from 0. Vacuum stripping or the use of sol. first-of-a-kind plant.51 to 0. but there cannot be solvents. the @16%/year ($/ton CO2 removed) 30 17 design used 20% MEA. and fly ash on The development.51 0. power grid and is assumed to include the addi.2 to 800 MW. Economic design studies of scrubbing with Year of design 2001 2006 Downloaded from www. adiabatic compressors. stripper interheating. and fly ash. and deploy- the stripper reboiler. NOx. The cost of CO2 removal is sen. heat exchangers. for heating and cooling the circulating solvent. It should be ciency. 150°C (12). but the cost of these units and other to degradation but are more expensive and will require legislative cap-and-trade and other mea. reduce those costs. such as ionic liquids. for SO2 control. and ethyldiethanolamine (18) are resistant of 800 MW as early as 2018. a heat-driven. impurities. Vol. the study Operating and maintenance cost ($/ton CO2 removed) 6 6 updated the costs from 2001 by employing 30% Total cost ($/ton CO2 removed) 77 52 MEA and better energy integration. construction.sciencemag. Economics of CO2 capture by MEA scrubbing (10). tail-end tech- cost. the scrubbing system can be turned off.51 MWh/ton CO2 poorly developed processes must be based on poor not be lost when these systems are retrofitted onto (10) to SCIENCE VOL 325 25 SEPTEMBER 2009 1653 . are few fundamental barriers to greater removal. 2009 aqueous MEA demonstrate both the feasibility of MEA (weight percent) 20 30 the technique and the uncertainties caused by the Power used (MWh/ton) 0. 17). Advanced amines such as KS-1. or about 20% demand. first. although lost power production equivalent to 20 to 30% of typical power plant MEA is subject to oxidative and thermal deg. systems that provide CO2 at higher pressure with Further development of this technology will pro. When the driving force for membranes or tional cost of CO2 allowances. However. Seventy to 95% rem- plant that would be operational by 2013. and multipressure stripping will also pro. Conceptual designs of amine scrubbing systems possible to install amine scrubbing on an 800-MW mally resistant solvent with a high heat of CO2 assume 90% CO2 removal. and technical schedules of building successive- quiring multiple parallel exchangers. major improvement because the existing designs nomically sensitive to process upsets and other stood far better than was slurry scrubbing at an already provide about 50% thermodynamic effi. thermal-swing stripper. Thermal degrada. or about 12%. Impacts of SO2. more robust solvents to reduce makeup costs and complexity and capital cost (11–13). assumed vents with a lower heat of absorption will not get Advanced separation methods such as mem- in this case to be $80/MWh. flashing Amine scrubbing is a flexible. as well as vide reduced energy use. The new de. and expen. solvent and process improvements are not tions. allow for ade. the capacity to meet peak demand will predicted values of 0. understanding of process on October 4.

there is still no power plant in which CO2 is tain. 8. G. Air capture is an industrial process that cap.” that is ready to be tested and used on a scale U.2 MWh/ton 10.). 109 (1983). CA.22 MWh. It is one negative becomes relevant. B. coal-fired boilers with 12% CO2. thesis. should focus on reducing emissions. system is marvelously diverse.S. D. One might even at today’s concentration. ven if we could halt human carbon emis. Other advanced technologies will not pro. Trondheim. it is one of an emerging set of technologies for CO2 removal that includes geological storage of biotic carbon and the acceleration of geochemical weathering. 4). Davis. (1982). 130 18. required for adequate combustion (about 15%). from the flue gases of coal-fired power plants. the estimated work for oxycombus. Process and solvent improvements accessed 10 September 2009.04%. include the irreversibility of the exchangers and on October 4. in our kit for managing carbon-climate risks. so a small risk of catastrophic impacts exists sign Earth to a warmer future for millennia or captured from the full exhaust stream. “Carbon Dioxide Capture from gen for the production of CO2. and Process Integration for Near-Term CO2 Capture Downloaded from www. boilers or heaters at 7% CO2. 6.1176731 PERSPECTIVE Why Capture CO2 from the Atmosphere? David W. Keith Air capture is an industrial process for capturing CO2 from ambient air. Calgary. Electric Power Research Institute. Carbon Capture and Sequestration mechanical compression to provide the work of appropriate for CO2 capture from coal-fired pow. and steel works with 7365. 2500 University Drive NW. along with various sipate our carbon cycle perturbation and the re. Nonhebel. 1930. Institute for Sustainable Energy Environment and Economy. U.. A. thesis. Paper presented at the Second National 2. 11. air capture allows one to apply industrial economies of scale to small and mobile emission sources and enables a partial decoupling of carbon capture from the energy infrastructure. Although air capture will cost more than capture from power plants when both are operated under the same economic conditions. Amine scrubbing. CO2 Removal from Fossil-Fuel–Fired Power Plants” (IE. combined cycles at 4% CO2 or gas.ON.. Canada CO2 stream for use or disposal (5. University of Texas at Austin (2009). K. stoichiometric CO2. of an emerging set of technologies for remov. R. 5 to 8 May 2003. J. Yagi et al. 2006. F. 25% CO2. “Development and Improvement of the excess and leakage air along with the CO2. J. Success” (DE-FG02-06ER84625. University of tures CO2 from ambient air.sciencemag. passing the by elevated CO2. for managing climate risk. FL. Capturing the risk of dangerous climate change becomes centrations in order to manage the long-run risks CO2 from the air. National Air Pollution Control Administration. University of Texas at Austin (2008). increase Earth’s reflectivity. monotonically as emissions continue to drive up E sions today. and in 1654 25 SEPTEMBER 2009 VOL 325 SCIENCE www. 21 June 2007. 14. thesis.” presented at the Eight International Amine scrubbing will be applied first on large Flue Gas Desulfurization Symposium—1973” (EPA. 26 May 2009. before we can reduce emissions to the near-zero Energy and Environment System Group. 3. Y. Reddy. www. We possible. 1291 (1936). Trans. 80. Although climate engineering may be important term exploratory research effort to develop air uous efforts to limit emissions. CO2 concen. Unless we can remove CO2 0. 10. “Proceedings: CO2-Capture System. 32. Oil Gas J. Paper presented at the 5th Trondheim . and that risk grows commit ourselves to a sustained program of cli. it cannot eliminate the capture along with other direct methods for trations in the atmosphere will rise beyond 450 long-term climate and geochemical risks posed removing CO2 from the atmosphere.or oil-fired 5. Carbon Capture J. distillation columns in the air separation unit. Barnett. 6). “Separating acid gases. 2009 cement plants at 25% CO2. Alberta. Limestone Wet Scrubbing Symposium. November 2007).S. “Engineering and Economic Evaluation of 15. well conclude that there is little reason to develop CREDIT: PHOTOS. in use for nearly 80 years. It would also be 4. Moreover. It will be less attractive with gas-fired 1991) 16. drogen contained in the coal and for the excess decrease CO2 emissions from conventional coal. The global energy T2N 1N4. It is therefore in our interest to In the near term. Norway. 28 June 2007). however. from the air faster than nature does. Fisher et al. a serious long- of emission trends suggest that even with stren. Palo Alto. and simple extrapolations ing that counteracts the CO2-driven warming (3. producing a pure level where the ability to drive global emissions Calgary. is a robust technique 7. G. and deploy air capture in the coming decades. might well seem premature. where its concentration is unacceptably high. Environmental Protection Agency.1126/science. 650/ R. December 1973). gy consumption. S. efforts to limit climate risk level commonly invoked as a ceiling above which have a means to reduce atmospheric CO2 con. Patent 1783901. Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies. 9. separation and will not provide competitive ener. Faraday Soc. It may be possible to from the air should be viewed as an essential tool An immediate emissions halt is essentially im. Lichtfers et al.jsp. Rochelle..S. emissions persists longer than that of nuclear waste climate risk posed by the carbon we have al. Sexton. NETL/DOE. 17. 13. Fluor Daniel. Conference on CO2 Capture. the climatic re. R. Simister. “Advanced Amine Solvent Formulations useful with boilers fired by biomass at 14% CO2. at the minimum.eon. tion starts at 0. A. advantages that may compensate for the intrinsic difficulty of capturing carbon from the air. Bottoms (Girdler Corp. Clair. DOE/NETL-401/110907. Lime/ Conference on Carbon Sequestration. parts per million before mid-century. given that sponse to elevated CO2 concentration is uncer. 12. 81. the climate risks they pose would persist for millennia—assuming that we must rely only on natural processes to dis- the atmospheric CO2 burden. S. Transport. should reduce the energy use to 0. Oyenekan. In addition to separating oxy. vide solutions as energy-efficient or as timely to Energy–National Energy Technology Laboratory. Oil Gas J. we will con. H. ready added to the air. Department of oxygen (about 20%) must be provided for hy. This estimate does not References and Notes 16 to 17 June 2009. fired power plants. Arnold. VA. Isom. does it include the irreversibilities of compressing 16 to 20 March 1970. engineering a cool. the archetypical long-lived waste product. the ability to remove CO2 (2)..COM mate engineering. PCT patent application. of climate change. E. Over the long run. 19 to 22 June.sciencemag. nor Alexandria. W. from solar power to the capture of CO2 ing CO2 from the atmosphere that includes bio- mass energy with CO2 capture. Technologies for decarbonizing the energy system. 8). U. D. er plants. Perdido Bay. and Storage. The University of Texas at Austin (2007). WO 2007/068695. Ramezan et al. Existing Coal-fired Power Plants” (U. however.. St. The impact of carbon can cut emissions but they cannot reduce the (7. H. means of accelerating geochemical weathering sulting climate changes (1). M. therefore need.