Novel Amine Blends that Optimize CO2 Capture from Coal-Fired Power Plants

Physical Sciences : Chemical

Available for licensing

Inventors

  • Gary Rochelle, Ph.D. , Chemical Engineering
  • Alexander Voice, Ph.D. , Chemical Engineering
  • Omkar Namjoshi , University of Texas at Austin
  • Mandana Ashouripashaki , Office of Technology Commercialization
  • Stephanie Freeman, Ph.D. , Chemical Engineering
  • Xi Chen, Ph.D. , Chemical Engineering
  • Lynn Li , University of Texas at Austin
  • Yang Du , University of Texas at Austin
  • Bich-Thu Nguyen, Ph.D. , Chemical Engineering
  • Humera Rafique , Chemical Engineering
  • Steven Fulk , University of Texas at Austin

Background/unmet need

Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases, dominate the political and societal discussion around improving global living conditions. Industries based on fossil-fuel generation and use receive a great deal of focus from legislators, regulators, and the general population to reduce or eliminate emissions. One of the primary greenhouse gases identified by global environmental regulators is carbon dioxide (CO). Although CO is generated by natural means, industrial generation has significantly increased since the Industrial Revolution.

Capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide is an important area of research. Capture from coal-fired power plants is an important segment of this research. One method that has demonstrated positive results is carbon dioxide capture by amine absorption and stripping; the current benchmark for this is aqueous monoethanolamine (MEA).

Invention Description

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a carbon dioxide scrubbing system involving specific amine blends. The motivation behind this research is to develop improvements from the current MEA approach to amine absorption/stripping. The invention will limit the use of more expensive amines that are known to be highly CO reactive, thus reducing the cost of implementing the approach. Amine blends are formulated based on properties such as carbon dioxide desorption temperature, carbon dioxide loading capacity, thermal degradation, and oxidative degradation.

Benefits/Advantages

  • Improved carbon dioxide absorption
  • Decreased energy consumption
  • Decreased capital equipment cost
  • Reduced chemical makeup costs

Features

    The aqueous MEA approach for carbon dioxide scrubbing can reduce power plant output up to 30 percent. Because of this cost, amine scrubbing might not be used unless plants are under tight restrictions regarding emissions. However, if a more economical alternative to MEA scrubbing is developed, amine absorption/stripping might be more widely used.

Market potential/applications

The aqueous MEA approach for carbon dioxide scrubbing can reduce power plant output up to 30 percent. Because of this cost, amine scrubbing might not be used unless plants are under tight restrictions regarding emissions. However, if a more economical alternative to MEA scrubbing is developed, amine absorption/stripping might be more widely used.

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status