Improved environmental knowledge about amine-based CO2 capture
A CLIMIT supported project on basic research and development of important knowledge about amine reactions in the atmosphere, has doubled the knowledge database on atmospheric amine chemistry.
– The project has provided new fundamental scientific data on several technologically important amines and has doubled the existing atmospheric chemistry data base on amines. This new information has already been used in modelling emissions from TCM, says Professor Claus Nielsen at the University of Oslo.
Nielsen has worked with emissions of amines for many years in connection with full-scale CO2 capture and storage in Norway through activities at the University of Oslo and at the Technology Center Mongstad (TCM). He has been leading the CLIMIT research project since its start-up in 2015.
The most mature CO2 capture technology today is based on the use of amines. When CO2 is captured on an industrial scale from e.g. energy production, waste incineration or the cement industry, small amounts of amines will be released to the surroundings. Amines decompose in the air and then small amounts of nitrosamines and nitramines are formed which can be carcinogenic.
The Norwegian Institute for Public Health has recommended how much nitrosamines and nitramines can be emitted to air and drinking water. This has provided the Norwegian environmental authorities a method to set emission limits for CO2 capture facilities.
There are several amines that can be used for CO2 capture, and therefore detailed knowledge of the amines’ atmospheric chemistry is required to be able to set upper limits on how much amine can be allowed in industrial emissions.
The objective for this project has been to advance the knowledge on amines and their fate in the environment, and thereby to facilitate sound environmental impact assessments of implementing large-scale amine-based post combustion carbon capture and storage technology (PCCCS).
To meet these objectives, the project has undertaken photo-oxidation studies of selected amines including quantification of the nitrosamines and nitramines formed, and employed quantum chemistry calculations to develop degradation mechanisms for implementation in atmospheric chemistry and dispersion models.
There is now sufficient data available for sterically hindered amines (AMP), cyclic
amines (piperazine, piperidine, morpholine, imidazole) and open-chain polyamines
(ethylenediamine, trimethylenediamine) to allow a reliable prediction of the nitrosamine and nitramine formation in the atmospheric degradation of these compound classes. This new information has already been implemented in atmospheric chemistry and dispersion models of emissions from TCM.
The project has funded a two-year research position. In addition, PhD students and employees at the university have been associated with the project. So far, two articles have been published in international journals and another five are in progress.
The project consisted of a strong international team and experts from both universities in Oslo, Gothenburg, Innsbruck, Lyon, Leeds and York have participated in the project. A major part of the project included studying the compounds in the photochemical reactor EUPHORE in Valencia by four of the research groups.