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Determination of the rate of absorption for CO2 absorption systems

Conference Paper · February 2016

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Joel B. Mensah Hanna Karlsson


RWTH Aachen University Lund University
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Hans T. Karlsson Helena Svensson


Lund University Lund University
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Determination of the rate of absorption for CO2 absorption systems
J. B. Mensah, H. K. Karlsson, H. T. Karlsson, H. Svensson1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Lund University, Box 124, 221 00 Lund, Sweden;

In order to properly design an absorption tower for CO2 capture knowledge on the absorption
rate of CO2 is required. Several methods can be used to determine the absorption rate, such as
a wetted wall column (WWC), stirred absorption cell or a string of discs setup. The aim of
this work was to determine the absorption flux of CO2 into different amine solutions using a
new method. Two absorption systems were investigated, namely aqueous solutions of
monoethanolamine (MEA) and solutions of 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP) in the
organic solvent N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). Aqueous solutions of MEA have been
widely researched and are considered benchmark amine solutions for CO2 capture whereas
solutions of AMP in NMP are novel absorption systems that have been reported as promising
alternatives for CO2 capture, based on its ability to be regenerated at lower temperatures.

A new method for determining the rate of absorption was developed and evaluated.
Experiments were performed using the true heat-flow reaction calorimeter CPA202,
developed by ChemiSens AB, and the rate of pressure decrease in the reactor was measured
during absorption of a known quantity of CO2. The absorption flux of CO2 could then be
calculated from the experimental data obtained during the experiments. Different amine
concentrations for the aqueous MEA were investigated, 1.5, 5 and 7 m, as well as for
solutions of AMP in NMP, 1.5 and 5 m. The experiments were carried out at 25°C. Duplicate
experiments were performed for each amine concentration.

The results of the study show that the absorption flux decreases linearly as the CO2-loading
increases for aqueous solutions of MEA. The absorption flux was lower for the 1.5 m MEA
solution than for the solutions of 5 and 7 m MEA, for which similar values were determined.
The results obtained thus indicate that there may be a threshold concentration, most likely
between 1.5 and 5 m MEA, above which the overall absorption flux does not significantly
increase as a result of an increased amine concentration. The absorption flux determined for
solutions of AMP in NMP was considerably higher than those determined for aqueous
solutions of MEA and was very similar for both the 1.5 m and the 5 m AMP in NMP
solutions. There was no clear indication of the absorption flux decreasing with CO2-loading
for the solutions of AMP in NMP, as observed for the aqueous solutions of MEA. However,
the determined absorption flux for the solutions of AMP in NMP were more scattered and the
repeatability for these experiments was in general lower than for the experiments on aqueous
MEA.

The same experiments will be performed using a WWC. These results will be compared with
those obtained with the new method developed in this study, in order to evaluate if the new
method gives reliable absorption fluxes and can be used in order to quickly assess the
absorption rate of new CO2 absorption systems.

1
corresponding author; tel: +46 46 222 93 13; e-mail: helena.svensson@chemeng.lth.se

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