Evaluating the impact of an ammonia-based post-combustion CO2 capture process on a steam power plant with different cooling water temperatures

Sebastian Linnenberg, Victor Camille Alfred Darde, Jochen Oexmann, Alfons Kather, Willy J.M. van Well, Kaj Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The use of aqueous ammonia is a promising option to capture carbon dioxide from the flue gas of coal-fired power plants. Compared to a capture process using monoethanolamine (MEA), the use of ammonia can reduce the heat requirement of the CO2 desorption significantly, although an additional effort is necessary to provide the cooling of the process. To allow for a fair evaluation of the integration of this CO2 capture process into a power plant process, an overall process evaluation is carried out. The use of detailed models of the power plant, of the compressor and of the CO2 capture process enables the calculation of the power loss due to the steam extraction as well as due to the required auxiliary power for CO2 compression, solvent and cooling pumps and mechanical chillers. To study the influence of the cold end of the process, two power plants with different cooling water temperatures are analysed. Additionally, two different process configurations of the capture plant, with either one single absorber or two absorbers connected in series where the first absorber captures the majority of the CO2 and the second limits the NH3 slip, are evaluated.The influence of the main process parameters (desorber pressure, solvent circulation rate, solvent recycling rate and chilling temperature) are evaluated and the optimal configuration with respect to the overall net efficiency penalty is determined.The study shows that the configuration of the process with absorption at low temperature (approximately 10°C) with or without precipitation of ammonium carbonate compounds leads to a lower net efficiency penalty than an MEA-based process, assuming that low temperature cooling water is available. An estimate of the size of the absorber shows that the absorber columns of an ammonia-based process are significantly higher than the ones required for an MEA-based process.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Pages (from-to)1-14
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Post-combustion CO2 capture
  • Power plant
  • Integration
  • Ammonia
  • Chilled ammonia process

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