Pilot plant campaigns are critical to our understanding of the performance of solvent-based post-combustion capture processes. During the ALIGN-CCUS project, long-term pilot plant runs in the Niederaussem lignite-fired power plant were conducted, that aimed to investigate solvent degradation and emissions management and capture rates beyond 90%. Based on these pilot runs, we here investigated the cost effect of amine degradation and emissions for two solvent systems, MEA and CESAR1, as well as the effect of incorporating degradation and emission mitigation strategies and the effect of higher carbon capture rates. We found that for lignite-fired power plants, CESAR1 is not per se a cheaper solvent system than MEA when actual solvent losses (or their mitigation measures) are considered, contrary to what earlier studies have suggested. It may, therefore, be just as good a benchmark as MEA would be, as long as all degradation and emission (mitigation) costs are included in their cost estimates. Second, MEA reclaiming with ion exchange resins and CESAR1 emission mitigation measures (dry-bed and/or turbulent flue gas pre-treatment) do not increase the cost of CO2 capture or electricity. If anything, our work suggests these measures reduce costs marginally, owing to lower solvent make up, offsetting the additional capital and operational costs. Finally, the cost effect of capture rates beyond 90% proves minimal (the cost of CO2 capture and the levelized cost of electricity increase by 3% and 5%, respectively, when moving from 90% to 98% CO2 capture rate), indicating solvent-based CO2 capture may also be a useful mitigation strategy in societies transitioning towards net-zero-CO2 emissions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering