Optimization of solvent properties for post-combustion CO2 capture using process simulation

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Great efforts are underway to develop improved absorbents for post-combustion CO2 capture. Regardless of the solvent composition, the absorbent can be represented by a series of sub-models for physicochemical properties. The purpose of this paper is to identify the solvent characteristics that play crucial roles in the total cost of CO2 separation. Aqueous monoethanolamine (MEA) was selected as the reference solvent system, and a robust process model to describe its behavior was validated. The impact of various properties on the capture performance was evaluated separately via flowsheet simulations. The solvent viscosity, volatility, heat capacity, CO2 solubility, enthalpy of solution, solvent strength and absorption kinetics have been identified to be important factors, that have however a combined effect on CO2 separation cost. Compared with an optimized MEA-based capture plant, a lower capture cost of 52.19 €/ton CO2 could be achieved with a low-volatile solvent. To show a clear target for further solvent development, sensitivity analyses of solvent properties were employed. Taking the assumed absorbent as a reference, an increase in CO2 solubility, solvent strength or absorption kinetics, or a decrease in liquid volatility or viscosity can further improve solvent performance to some extent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103080
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Capture cost
  • Low volatile solvent
  • Post-combustion CO capture
  • Property study
  • Solvent development


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