The flowsheet below shows an amine scrubber in action. Amine scrubbing uses a dilute solution of ~ 30 % MEA (Monoethanolamine) in water, which chemically reacts with the CO2 in the flue gas (loading it).. The loaded material is then transported to a stripper, where heat is added to reverse the reaction, producing a pure stream of CO2, and regenerating the sorbent. The CO2 is compressed and transported to a site where it can be sequestered. One important research drive at Imperial is into the improvement of solvents for CO2 capture, including the discovery and testing of new solvents. The operation and flexible use of such plant is also very important. Other issues which are important for research include the degradation in the CO2 capture ability of the sorbent over repeated cycles (including the kinetics and mechanism of degradation) and interactions with trace and minor species in the flue gas, such as SO2 and mercury.
A large number of groups at Imperial are involved in amine scrubbing. For people working in this area, please click here.