Environmental Impacts of Post Combustion Capture
Amine based post combustion CO2 capture is considered to be the most mature of the capture technologies available today. Capture plants with a capacity of up 300,000 tonnes of CO2 per year have already been constructed and there are well established suppliers.
The technology is based on washing the flue gas with a solvent that captures CO2. Thus, a small fraction of this solvent will be released through the stack together with the cleaned flue gas. For a 400 MWe CCGT plant a solvent slip of 1 ppm in the flue gas will add up to about 40 tonnes per year. This release may cause environmental concerns both directly and indirectly through subsequent solvent degradation into other substances in the atmosphere.
The expected emissions of amines, additives and their degradation products with flue gas stream and waste product streams is a continued concern and possible show-stopper for the deployment of full scale CO2 post combustion capture using amines.
The major topics are to quantify amount and composition of solvent and degradation products in the cleaned flue gas, to understand the atmospheric fate and degradation of these substances and to assess the final impact on the environment. Additional important topics are technical initiatives for reducing the level of solvent and degradation products in the cleaned flue gas.
There is a clear lack of understanding in the characteristics of the used solvent and their degradation products, which are an additional concern. From the global prospective, it is clear that the activities in relation to this topic are limited and there is a clear need for cooperation and knowledge exchange between the different institutes.
The "Environmental impact of Post Combustion Capture" workshop is established, primarily to share information on the environmental effect of using chemical solvents for capture of CO2, associated with conventional combustion based fossil fuel fired power stations.
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