Evaluation of Handling and Reuse Approaches for the Waste Generated From MEA-based and PostcapTM CO2 Capture Considering Regulations in the UAE

  • Laila Nurrokhmah

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


One of the most widely used solvents is monoethanolamine (MEA) owing to its effective performance; nonetheless, the waste generation is unavoidable although reclaiming process has been complemented. The waste mainly consists of MEA itself, ammonium, heat-stable salts (HSS), high molecular weight compounds, and water. Another novel process developed by Siemens (PostCapTM) relies on amino acid salts (AAS) solvent combined with a two-step reclaiming concept. Two by-product streams are produced from this process; moist harmless salt with some impurities and a mixture of amino acid, salts, and water content. The reclaimer wastes from both CO2 capture processes are characterized and analyzed to investigate the reuse, recycle, treatment, and disposal options. Fluor's Econamine FGSM process and the other supporting findings are adapted for MEA-based case. This investigation shows that potassium sulfate from PostCapTM reclaimer waste has the potential for reuse in the fertilizer industry. The technical suitability and economic potential in the market has been confirmed. In addition to being used as fertilizer, it can be reused as a drilling fluid additive. Both MEA and PostCapTM reclaimer waste can be reused as a scrubbing agent for selective non-catalytic NOx reduction (SNCR) due to their ammonium content and potassium bicarbonate content in PostCapTM reclaimer waste. Recycling the reclaimer wastes into coal burner or on-site incineration can be considered due to the effective destruction at a high thermal condition. As a mean of treatment, three secondary-biological treatments covering Complete-Mix Activated Sludge (CMAS), oxidation ditch, and trickling filter are designed to meet the wastewater standard in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The economic evaluation results in the cost of biological treatment ranging between 0.017-0.02 USD/ton CO2 captured. This cost is highly competitive as the cost for treatment by the waste service provider is 0.214-0.332 USD/ton CO2 for MEA-based case and 0.062-0.096 USD/ton CO2 for PostCapTM waste. Whereas, the cost for onsite incineration is 0.031 USD/ton CO2 while incinerating by the other handler in the UAE costs 0.12-3.5 USD/ton CO2. After performing sensitivity analysis, the biological process specifically trickling filter application is discovered to be the most economical option for treating the reclaimer waste.
Date of AwardJun 2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMohammad Abu Zahra (Supervisor)


  • Degradation; Wastes; Coal; Oxidation; Recycling; UAE.

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