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Low-pressure absorption of CO2 from flue gas

04.01.2011  |  Tellini, M. ,  Politecnico di Milano, Milan, ItalyCentola, P. ,  Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Case study accomplished 95% sequestration using methyldiethanolamine aqueous solution

Keywords: [CO2] [sequestration] [fired heaters] [MDEA] [acid solubility] [NO2] [corrosion prevention]

Over 60% of carbon dioxide (CO2) sent to the atmosphere comes from fired heaters and utility or industrial power systems based on fossil-fuel combustion.1 The industrial capture of CO2 from emissions is possible with low pressure solvent absorption, a simple process operation that becomes particularly important for combustion furnaces, burners and incinerators. Traditionally, the absorption of acidic gases has been done under pressure with amine solutions, but typical combustion flue gases have large flowrates. Inert N2 is the bulk constituent and CO2 is generally diluted to 10% vol–15% vol. Fig. 1 shows the example of a tenfold polytropic compression at the 80% optimistic efficiency for 100,000 Nm3/h, a relatively small industrial gas flowrate. The compression requires 12 MWh or 3.2 kW per kmole of gas and determines a net loss, in spite of the power that can be recovered through a turbine expander, located on the lighter CO2-free gas returning from the absorber, and the heat recuperated from various intercoolers plus the reheated gases to the chimney. Higher losses are incurred if the gas is compressed to 4,000 kPa or more, for deepsea or sealed-cavern remote confinement, possibilities that lead to comparing CO2 sequestering costs versus carbon tax savings and other virtual benefits in specific regions.

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