Norwegian CO2 capture centre Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) has launched the world’s first large-scale tests of the amine solvent MEA, the results of which will hopefully accelerate the implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The news comes after the Global CCS Institute last week released its report titled The Global Status of CCS: February 2014, and encouraged greater regional progress in bringing CCS projects online.

Monoethanolamine (MEA) is used as a baseline solvent, which is commonly used in post-combustion carbon capture studies to compare the performance of proprietarily-developed amines and other CO2 removal processes.

TCM, in cooperation with Aker Solutions, has been operating the amine plant since August 2012. Now, for the first time, TCM has undertaken large-scale testing of the performance of the MEA solvent system on gas-fired emissions sources.

The results will be openly shared with the global CCS community, to increase knowledge and understanding and accelerate the implementation of CCS.

Olav Falk-Pedersen, Business Development Manager at CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad, commented, “We are excited to have embarked on this exciting testing phase at TCM. MEA is a widely used solvent by companies for benchmarking and improving their technology.”

“So by thoroughly testing the MEA solvent system in the amine plant, and openly sharing that information, we stand to help technologists around the world maximise the performance of their technologies and advance the CCS industry on a major scale.”

Valid baseline

MEA has been used for many decades in the process industry including for production of CO2 for industrial purposes.

Presently the MEA process acts as a baseline solvent, against which various technologies are benchmarked. The new tests will include measurement and evaluation of a number of important parameters, such as energy consumption, emissions and degradation, within an accuracy of 2 -3%.

The tests are expected to run until March, after which the findings will be published in several scientific papers. Ultimately, the testing will provide a valid MEA baseline for a variety of CCS applications, both in the process industry and in power production.