A simulation of the costs and firm level in alkanolamine flue gas carbon capture
LE3 .A278 2023
Bachelor of Science
This thesis quantifies the firm-level incentives and describes the capital and operating costs of implementing alkanolamine-based flue gas carbon capture systems designed to capture 100 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (100 % of carbon dioxide generated) per day in a coal-fired power plant. Determining the costs and the areas where firms could be incentivized to engage with alkanolamine flue gas carbon capture systems are both important in assessing the economic viability of this carbon dioxide emission mitigation technology. This thesis takes a simulation approach, assessing the viability of four of the most prevalent alkanolamine molecules currently being used for carbon carpture: monoethanolamine, diethanolamine, methyl diethanolamine, and aminomethyl propanol. Each of these four chemicals are simulated independently in the same conceptual flue gas carbon capture process. Simulating the process with a consistent layout across all four alkanolamines permits a more reasonable direct comparison of the cost and incentive differences arising from the properties unique to each chemical. Component prices and operating parameters were determined based on available data, with a focus on the chemical and engineering implications associated with all components, parameters, and chemicals involved. Where data was not available, various ad hoc methods were used to derive a given cost. Capture process operation parameters were varied to suit the requirements dictated by the specific chemical properties of each alkanolamine. The results indicate that monoethanolamine, the most pervasive alkanolamine currently in use for carbon capture, was the least expensive from a capital and operating cost standpoint. Diethanolamine was the second least expensive by capital costs, and third least expensive by operating costs. Aminomethyl propanol was the third least expensive by capital costs, and second least expensive by operating costs. Methyl diethanolamine was the most expensive by capital and operating costs. The degree to which a firm would be incentivized to implement a flue gas carbon capture system was not consistent across all four alkanolamines. In all simulations, firm level incentives were subject to specific prices and parameters, with solvent circulation rate improvements or coal subsidies offering the greatest potential for incentive impacts.
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