CO2 Solutions has validated the benefits of the technology at laboratory scale with available industrial low-energy solvents, including methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) and certain carbonates and amino acids. MDEA, for instance, is a widely used solvent for natural gas treating at high pressure, but is generally regarded as too kinetically limited for CO2 capture at ambient pressure, such as from power plant flue gases. By employing CA, the rate of CO2 absorption in MDEA is increased 50 fold, reducing the height (and hence, cost) of the CO2 absorption by 90%. Additionally, by taking advantage of the low-energy properties of MDEA, solvent regeneration and process energy consumption is reduced by 30% or more compared to the current industry standard monethanolamine (MEA) process. For a typically coal-fired power plant, this would translate into a CO2 capture cost savings of approximately $50-70 million per year1. As the CO2 capture portion represents about 80% of the total cost of CCS at present2, this cost savings helps position CCS as an economically viable option for the large-scale mitigation of carbon emissions.
Enzyme Impact on Absorber Size with MDEA
1CO2 Solutions calculations, 2011
2Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage”, 2005