Experimental Evaluation of Methods for Reclaiming Sulfur Loaded Amine Absorbents
8 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2019 Last revised: 2 May 2019
Date Written: October 21, 2019
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a major flue gas contaminant that has a direct effect on the performance of amine-based carbon dioxide capture units operating on power plant flue gases. In many countries, flue gas desulfurisation (FGD) is an essential upstream requirement to CO2 capture systems, thereby increasing the overall operational and capital cost of the capture system. In Australia, the efficacy of CO2 capture may be compromised by the accumulation of SO2 in the absorption solvent. CSIRO’s CS-Cap process is designed to capture of both these acidic gases in one absorption column, thereby eliminating the need for a separate FGD unit which could potentially save millions of dollars. Previous research at CSIRO’s post-combustion capture pilot plant at Loy Yang power station has shown that mono-ethanolamine (MEA) solvent absorbs both CO2 and SO2, resulting in a spent amine absorbent rich in sulfates. Further development of the CS-Cap concept requires a deeper understanding of the properties of the sulfate-rich absorbent and the conditions under which it can be effectively regenerated. In the present study, thermal reclamation and reactive crystallisation processes were investigated, allowing the parameters affecting the regeneration of sulfate-loaded amine to be identified. It was found that amine losses were considerably higher in thermal reclamation than in reactive precipitation. During thermal reclamation, vacuum conditions were more effective than atmospheric, and pH of the initial solution played a significant role in recovery of MEA from the sulfate-rich absorbent. Reactive crystallisation could be effectively accomplished with the addition of KOH. An advantage of this process was that high purity K2SO4 crystals (~99%) were formed, despite the presence of degradation products in the solvent.
Keywords: Flue Gas Desulfurisation; Combined capture; CS-Cap concept; Regeneration; Thermal Reclamation; Reactive Crystallsaition; PCC: Amine degradation, GHGT-14
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