Austin, USA. 6th October 2014: TCM has completed the world’s first open-source, large-scale CO2 capture tests of amine solvent MonoEthanolAmine (MEA) on flue gas from a gas-fired power plant.
The results prove that industrial-scale CO2 capture is technically and environmentally feasible to an extent never seen before, setting a benchmark for the CCS industry. The MEA campaign at TCM has given the CCS industry significant new insight into the operations of large amine plants treating gas-turbine flue gases.
Baseline solvent MEA is commonly used in post-combustion carbon capture studies to compare the performance of proprietarily-developed amines and other CO2 removal processes. The new test results are critical in setting a benchmark for the CCS industry.
TCM is sharing some of the most important results openly with the global CCS community at the GHGT-12 conference in Austin, TX to increase knowledge and understanding of CO2 capture technology and to accelerate the full-scale deployment of CCS.
The use of amines to remove CO2 from industrial and natural gas streams is not new, with some amine systems for industrial and natural gas treatment dating back to 1930s. However, there has been a dearth of experience when using amines to remove CO2 from flue gases, as flue gases significantly differ from industrial and natural gas streams in terms of CO2 partial pressure, oxygen content, and various trace components such as SOx and NOx.
Until now, amine tests have been conducted under patents by independent vendors so there has been limited data available on CO2 capture operations from CCGT flue gas. Today, MEA solvent is no longer protected by patents, meaning TCM’s results are open-source and available for use across the entire CCS industry. By thoroughly testing the MEA solvent in the amine plant and openly sharing that information, TCM stands to help technologists around the world maximise the performance of their technologies and advance the CCS industry on a major scale.
The MEA test campaign was designed to investigate the impacts of varying MEA concentrations, verify design capacity and flexibility of the plant and specific functionalities, and help understand scale-up, performance and emissions aspects.
Around 150 different plant run scenarios were investigated and the campaign also tested different online and offline techniques for emissions monitoring analysis. An important part of the MEA testing period was an independent test campaign conducted by the US-based Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The research results from this test campaign will be presented at GHGT-12 and stand as a notable contribution to research in the CCS industry.
Speaking from the GHGT 12 conference in Austin, Frank Ellingsen, Managing Director of TCM, said:
“The conclusion of the first ever open source amine testing campaign on flue gas represents a huge milestone for the global CCS industry.
The MEA test campaign was conducted in collaboration with Aker Solutions as a part of its test period at TCM. The amine plant at TCM was designed and built by Aker Solutions and Kværner as a flexible test plant. It comprises an absorber, two stripping columns and a CO2 recycle line for increased CO2 inlet content.
Speaking from the GHGT 12 conference, Oscar Graff, Manager and CTO for CCS at Aker Solutions, said:
“The significance of these results for the industry as a whole cannot be underestimated. The benchmark results of the MEA campaign have great value for Aker Solutions as a reference to our proprietary amines that have been tested at TCM over a period of about 12 months. The test results of our S21 and S26 solvents demonstrate significant reduction in degradation rates and improved energy efficiencies, indicating that we have developed robust solvents also suitable for more challenging types of flue gases.”
The results from the MEA test campaign at TCM prove energy demands for CO2 removal can be reduced from previously anticipated 4.1 GJ/ton CO2 removed to about 3.4 GJ/ton CO2 removed, while capturing 90% of the CO2 in the flue gas. This is a reduction in energy demand of about 20%, which will have a significant impact on reducing costs for full-scale CCS. The results also prove that the CO2 removal process can be undertaken in an environmentally safe manner, within the emission limits set by the Norwegian environmental authorities.
Dr. Andrew Maxson, Principal Technical Leader at EPRI, said:
“EPRI has, in collaboration with TCM and Aker Solutions, analysed the equipment, instrumentation, and testing results from the amine plant to develop an independent baseline of the amine plant operations. This baseline provides significant new learning about CCS, and the testing protocol developed can be used to help evaluate future post-combustion capture technologies.”
The test campaign has proven that energy and electricity can be produced from natural gas with an extremely low CO2 footprint and within the emission limits set by the Norwegian environmental authorities. The results from the MEA test campaign can be found at the websites of GHGT-12 at www.ghgt.info.
Click on this link to download the papers.
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