Thermal Degradation of Monoethanolamine for CO2 Post Combustion Capture

  • Hessa M. Al Shehhi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Monoethanolamine is considered as a benchmark solvent in CO2 post-combustion capture process. Thermal degradation of Monoethanolamine is considered as one of the challenges in CO2 capture process, where it occurs in the solvent regeneration unit at a high temperature. Several consequences take place in the process due to this degradation such as decreasing the solvent capacity and generating undesirable byproducts. Thus, this study was done in order to identify the thermal degradation products, know the factors those influencing the thermal degradation and understand its mechanisms. An experimental work was conducted where different solutions of MEA concentrations (30wt% and 50wt% MEA) were loaded with CO2 and monitored under thermal degradation conditions for different time intervals. Each sample was analyzed in Gas Chromatography coupled with Flame-Ionized Detector (GC-FID) and the results were obtained by identifying the appeared peaks in the chromatogram and quantifying it. The main degradation products were identified and quantified using calibration curve method. The effect of the degradation time and the MEA initial concentration on MEA thermal degradation rate were examined by comparing MEA loss and degradation products generation between different MEA concentrations and between degradation intervals. The results showed that thermal degradation rate increased with increasing the MEA initial concentration as well as the degradation time. In addition, the main detected degradation products were 2-oxazolidone (OZD), 1-(2-hydroxyethyl) imidazolidone (HEIA) and N-(2-hydroxyethyl) ethylenediamine (HEEDA). Additional test was done to check the effect of MEA thermal degradation on the solution's viscosity. The results of this work on MEA thermal degradation could form the baseline case for thermal degradation of other solvents used in CO2 post-combustion capture process where the same experimental and analytical study could be followed to test the degradation of different amines.
Date of AwardMay 2013
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMohammad Abu Zahra (Supervisor)


  • Monoethanolamine; Post-Combustion CO2 Capture; Thermal Degradation; MEA.

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