Degradation of amine-based solvents in CO2 capture process by chemical absorption

Fernando Vega*, Aimaro Sanna, Benito Navarrete, M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Vicente J. Cortés

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)
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Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) technologies have been proposed as a promising alternative to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuel power plants with post-combustion capture. Absorption by aqueous amine-solutions is considered the most mature and industrially developed technology for post-combustion capture. One of the most significant issues hindering a large deployment of this technology is potential amine degradation. Amines degrade in presence of O2, CO2, NOx, SO2, and heat resulting in solvent loss, equipment corrosion and generation of volatile degradation compounds. Two types of degradation have been identified in the literature, namely oxidative and thermal degradation. A review of the amine-based solvents, its main degradation products, the apparatus and analytical methods most widely used, as well as the mechanism proposed and kinetic studies are presented and discussed here. Moreover, amines emissions from CO2 capture units can react in the atmosphere via photo-oxidation and also via NOX reactions to give nitrosamines and nitramines, which are potentially harmful to the human health and the environment. A discussion of the recent works on atmospheric degradation of amine solvents is also included in this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-733
Number of pages27
JournalGreenhouse Gases: Science and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • absorbents
  • capture
  • chemical absorption
  • degradation
  • nitrosamines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering


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