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CO2 Absorption from Gas Turbine Flue Gas by Aqueous Piperazine with Intercooling

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journal contribution
posted on 02.01.2020 by Tianyu Gao, Gary T. Rochelle
Amine scrubbing is the most mature technology for postcombustion carbon capture. Much bench- and pilot-scale work has been focused on CO2 capture from coal-fired flue gas. Because natural gas is inexpensive and readily available in the United States and other countries, the natural gas combined-cycle (NGCC) has been replacing coal for electricity generation. Carbon capture for NGCC is therefore an important technology for the modern power plants. The Piperazine (PZ) Advanced Stripper (PZAS) technology has been established as a benchmark system for second-generation amine scrubbing for CO2 capture from coal-fired flue gas. It has a fast absorption rate, good energy performance, and strong resistance to thermal degradation and oxidation. PZAS was operated with simulated NGCC flue gas (4.3 mol % (dry) CO2) at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, Alabama in 2019. This paper presents the absorber performance and model validation for the campaign. The absorber was tested with in-and-out and with pump-around intercooling. The variable operating conditions included lean loading (0.19–0.25 m CO2/mol alkalinity), gas temperature (40, 78 °C), and intercooling temperature (35, 40 °C). Using 5 m PZ CO2 removal from 82% to 96% was achieved with intercooling and only 12 m of packing. A rigorous, rate-based absorber model accurately predicted the CO2 removal and temperature profile. The model shows that the delta loading of the solvent at NGCC conditions for 90% removal is greater than at coal conditions, but high CO2 removal (99%) is more difficult to achieve with NGCC gas than with coal-fired flue gas. The pump-around intercooling was effective, and the intercooling temperature had a large impact on the absorber performance. With pump-around, the delta loading penalty for hot gas feed into absorber without a direct contact cooler was less than 5%.

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