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Technology Collaboration Programme by IEA

Workshop on Environmental Impact of Amine Emissions during Post-Combustion Capture

Mohammad Abu Zahra

Citation: IEAGHG, "Workshop on Environmental Impact of Amine Emissions during Post-Combustion Capture", 2010-11, June 2010.

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Publication Overview

The amine post combustion capture technology is based on washing the flue gas with a solvent that captures CO2. Thus, a small fraction of this solvent will be released through the stack together with the cleaned flue gas. This release may cause environmental concerns both directly and indirectly through subsequent solvent degradation into other substances in the atmosphere. There is a clear lack of understanding of the characteristics of the used solvent and their degradation products, which are an additional concern. From the global prospective, it is clear that the activities in relation to this topic are limited and there is a clear need for cooperation and knowledge exchange between the different institutes. Therefore, the “Environmental Impact of Post Combustion Capture” workshop was held, primarily to share information on the environmental effect of using chemical solvents for capturing CO2, associated with conventional combustion based fossil fuel fired power stations

Publication Summary

  • The focus of the current environmental impacts activities is mainly on the conventional MEA as a chemical solvent
  • Strong opinion was presented from authorities that the available information on the environmental impacts are not enough and more knowledge will be required before allowing capture large-scale deployment
  • Evaluating the problem should start with studying the capture process, identify the hot spots and quantify the expected emissions components
  • The amine and chemical emissions problem needs to be identified more clearly
  • The measured levels/values of emissions should be put in perspective and compared with the safe acceptable levels of emissions
  • Quantifying the effect of NOx and O2 under real operation conditions is required
  • Measuring and quantifying the major emissions and degradation products (e.g. mother solvent, ammonia, formamides, formaldehydes, acetamide, Nitrosamines and nitramines) from the capture plant is very important, and should be done using standardised equipment and procedures
  • Special attention needs to be given to the degradation products quantities and composition
  • Developed emissions related regulations are missing
  • Definition of the emissions level of toxicity and acceptable levels is required
  • Emissions measurement and evaluation tools and chemical sampling and analytical techniques require major focus
  • A question needs to be answered, if the current available technologies for deep removal of chemicals are sufficient or do we need more improved technologies?
  • Pilot plants tests using real flue gases and online measurements for chemical emissions are essential
  • It is important not to send fraudulent message to the outside world that there is an environmental impact issue
  • Major technologies providers are confident that they have efficient technologies for deep amine removal and cleaning but extra costs might appl