Optimal design of an MDEA CO2 capture plant for low-carbon hydrogen production - A rigorous process optimization approach

Cristina Antonini, José-Francisco Pérez-Calvo, Mijndert Van Der Spek, Marco Mazzotti

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This work presents an optimized design of a methyl diethanolamine CO2 capture unit for clean hydrogen production via steam methane reforming of natural gas, where CO2 is captured from the pressurized water-gas shifted syngas. We propose a modified version of the standard MDEA-based  CO2 capture process flowsheet, and we optimize the operating conditions by solving a multi-objective optimization problem to minimize energy consumption while maximizing the CO2 capture rate. In this paper, we opted to model the  CO2 capture plant using an equilibrium-based approach. To validate the optimization results obtained and to verify the absorber and desorber dimensions, we sized both columns. Packing heights remain below the threshold of 15 meters and productivity ranges between 0.74 tCO2/m3h at a capture rate of 90% and 0.35 tCO2/m3h for a  CO2 recovery of 99.8% respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119715
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Early online date22 Sep 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2021


  • CO capture with MDEA
  • Energy consumption minimization
  • Low-carbon H production with CO capture
  • Process optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Filtration and Separation


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