International CO2 capture test network

Post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide by solvents such as methanolamine (MEA) is commercially available now from well-known licensors. However, their processes were not originally designed for application to large fossil fuel-fired power stations. About 40% of the world’s power generation is based on the use of pulverised coal, which if linked to solvent-based CO2 capture would introduce a host of potential solvent contaminants into the boiler flue gases. Both the scale of application and the presence of these contaminants suggest that there is considerable potential for process optimisation with commensurate cost saving benefits. IEA Greenhouse Gas R & D Programme is co-ordinating an effort to research and optimise the MEA capture system for application to these power stations. Three workshops have been held in Gaithersburg, USA in 2000; Calgary, Canada in 2001; and Apeldoorn, Netherlands, earlier this year. Representatives from 12 countries have attended some or all of the workshops. The specific objectives and scope of work, which the contributors have set themselves are: To develop more efficient and cost effective carbon dioxide capture from flue gases, than is currently available, through demonstration of a range of amine-based solvent scrubbing technologies. Over the long term it is important to achieve severe cuts in costs for the technologies developed to be competitive with other options. Four elements are proposed: Task A – Process simulation, Task B – Process and economic assessment, Task C – Process innovation at test facilities, Task D – Feasibility study. These objectives and tasks were agreed at the first workshop, whilst the second and third workshops developed activity with respect to Tasks A & B. This poster will draw on work being undertaken, primarily in North America and Europe to illustrate both the R & D needs and the progress so far.