WP4 - Development of Solvent Qualification Programme

The main objective of WP4 is to develop and consolidate the LAUNCH solvent qualification protocol using the lab-scale LAUNCH Rig 2 (capturing 25 kg of CO2 per day) and the PACT pilot-scale unit (capturing 1 tonne of CO2 per day).

Work undertaken will benefit from a range of previous studies, but will differ due to an emphasis on acceleration of results in order to support commercially relevant timescales. Our research will allow the necessary range of solvents and countermeasures to be properly assessed.

WP4 is divided into 4 key tasks:

Task 4.1 Qualification of the small-scale LAUNCH rigs approach
Task 4.2 Accelerate degradation
Task 4.3 Control degradation under accelerated conditions
Task 4.4 Recommendations on how to build a generic “LAUNCH rig”

Coordinator profile

Mohamed Pourkashanian, Coordinator of WP4
Coordinator Name: Mohamed Pourkashanian
Coordinator Job Role: Head of University Energy Research Institute, University of Sheffield
Professor M. Pourkashanian is the Head of University Energy Research at the Energy Institute, University of Sheffield, General Secretary of the International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF), and chair of the International Test Centre Network (ITCN). Professor Pourkashanian led the establishment of the Pilot-scale Advanced Capture Technology (PACT) national facilities in 2012 and has been the Executive Director of PACT for the past 6 years. Recently, he has received £21M+ from BEIS and the EU to establish the Translational Energy Research Centre at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. He is a Professor of Energy Engineering and has completed numerous major research projects on clean energy technology and has received a substantial sum of grants from RCUK-EPSRC, EU, NATO and industry. He has published over 466 refereed research papers and has co-authored books on biomass, coal combustion and CCUS technology (h-index 45 - Web of Science). He leads a team of 15 research fellows and 29 PhD students with an active grant of over £27M (2019). He played a leading role in developing the NOx post-processing computer codes and subsequently soot/NOx models that were later employed in the commercial CFD software. He worked as a technical consultant (1994-2000) for BOC Group Technical Centre, USA, on oxyfuel combustion in glass manufacturing. He is a member of numerous international and national scientific bodies including an invited member of the All Party Parliamentary Renewable Transport Fuels Group, member of technical working group for the Department of Energy & Climate Change (CCS Roadmap UK2050) and Expert-Member in EU-GCC Clean Gas Energy Network.


D1.3.1 and D4.2.1 Assessing the representativeness of accelerated degradation tests using the LAUNCH rigs and the DNM
Different accelerated degradation techniques were tested, and the results were compared between TERC pilot plant (1000 kg CO₂/day) and the LAUNCH rig (25 kg CO₂/day). Four accelerating degradation techniques were tested: increased oxygen levels in the flue gas, increased solvent concentration, increased stripping temperature, and addition of NOx. Increasing the MEA content in the solvent, the stripping temperature and the addition of NOx was studied in combination with increased O₂ content in the gas.
D4.1.1 Final Comparison Report Rig#2 and PACT (TERC)
The goal of WP4 is to develop the LAUNCH solvent qualification program. The qualification program will be developed using the lab scale LAUNCH Rig#2 (25 kgCO₂/day) from TNO and the TERC pilot scale unit (1tCO₂/day). The most abundant degradation compounds observed in this work were HEPO, HEGly and MEA-urea, this is comparable to other laboratory rigs and some larger pilots. HEPO dominated and has therefore a large influence on the overall degradation behaviour. More degradation was observed in LAUNCH rig#2 compared to the TERC ACP, and both showed more degradation than the SDR rig, as well as more than has been observed at the RWE pilot. There are some interesting trends observed for some of the degradation compounds which cannot be explained by water, CO₂ or MEA concentration variation. More work is required to relate these observations to degradation mechanisms.
D.4.1.2/D.4.4.1/D.5.1.2/D4.4.3/D6.2.1 Qualification, drawing and validation of the LAUNCH rigs as a tool for measuring solvent degradation
In this report, we have discussed the LAUNCH rig, a fully automated CO₂ capture plant designed to de-risk scaling-up of solvent technologies by representing the solvent degradation behaviour of full-scale plants. This plant is designed with a small capacity of 1 kg/h of captured CO₂, or 0.025 tonne per day. This small rig system, proposed before LAUNCH and further validated within the project, can be used to quantify the formation of degradation products over time. The drawing of a generic LAUNCH rig is given in the Figure below, and different design aspects are discussed. The rig is mobile, has a small footprint (6 m2) and can be easily connected at different industrial sites. This opens up the possibility to qualify solvents using different flue gases. The cost of the LAUNCH rig is estimated at 500 k€.
D4.3.1 and D5.2.5 Demonstration and assessment of mitigation technologies on solvent degradation
This deliverable is a combination from two LAUCH deliverables in the proposal: D4.3.1: Comparison of results and assessment of effectiveness of countermeasures and D5.2.5: Demonstration of mitigation technologies for an optimized solvent management’. Solvent management is critical in CO₂ capture plants’ operation, since solvent losses either in the form of emissions or in the form of degraded solvent can lead to operational issues, significant costs and, in extreme cases, failure to comply with permit regulations. These challenges can be avoided when suitable solvent management technologies are used. This work focuses on the investigation of solvent degradation management strategies, which were studied in the small-scale CO₂ capture plant LAUNCH rig#2 (25 kg CO₂/day) from TNO. The LAUNCH rig#2 is equipped with water washes on both absorber and stripper side, as well as a wash for quenching the inlet gas and bringing it to the desired temperature.
D4.4.2 Solvent Qualification Program Summary Report
One of the objectives of the LAUNCH project is to develop and validate a methodology for accelerating degradation, to save on time while still obtaining industrially representative results, and also to test at smaller scale, to save costs and also allow the rig to be transported to the relevant flue gas source if required. The small-scale LAUNCH rig#2 being tested for solvent qualification is a fully automated CO2 capture plant designed to de-risk scaling-up of solvent technologies by representing the solvent degradation behaviour of full scale plants. This plant is designed with a small capacity of 1 kg/h of captured CO2, or 0.025 tonne per day (tpd). To assess the effect of scale in solvent assessment LAUNCH rig#2 results were compared with those from the much larger (~1 tCO2/day) pilot scale CO2 capture plant at TERC.

More About the Project

Work Packages


Management, Dissemination and Exploitation


Predicting Degradation


Controlling Degradation


Closing Degradation Knowledge Gaps


Development of Solvent Qualification Programme


Demonstration of Solvent Qualification Programme


Techno-economic Evaluation


The primary objective of the LAUNCH project is to accelerate the implementation of CO2 capture across the energy and industry sectors by developing novel solvents and establishing a fast-track, cost-effective de-risking mechanism to predict and control degradation of capture solvents.


The LAUNCH project will deliver the necessary knowledge and tools to allow CO2 capture plants to operate in a more controlled and cost-efficient way. The project will also provide solvent developers with the tools to assist in designing and validating novel solvents. By avoiding uncontrolled build-up of degradation products, LAUNCH will improve the performance and economics of CO2 capture.


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