Enabling net zero emissions targets through Post Combustion Capture (PCC) of CO2 using amine-based emerging technology

Grantham Scholar Marcin Pokora researches how to make amine solvents used in Carbon Capture and Storage more sustainable. 

The project

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is one of the key activities that will allow anthropogenic carbon emissions to reach net zero and net negative in time to avoid dangerous climate change. Most large-scale CCS operations rely on amine solvents for post-combustion CO2 capture, but these amines degrade over time and are also damaged by impurities in the gases being processed. This is especially the case for applications, such as capture from waste combustion (a key application because it also generates negative emissions from capturing the CO2 from the biomass in the waste) where high levels of NOx, SOx and ash can cause a reduction in the carbon absorption capacity of the amines.

Maintaining amine solvent quality by reclaiming the ‘good’ solvent for re-use and rejecting the impurities for disposal or alternative uses is critical in the success of a capture plant. This project will study the effect of solvent degradation, arising from different process conditions and types of flue gas impurities, on the thermal reclaiming of monoethanolamine (MEA) and other solvents.

My project will rely on a new lab-scale (± 3L) test system for thermal reclaiming, utilising solvents from a pilot-scale project running in the Translational Energy Research Centre (TERC). The lab-scale systems will be built from glassware (for visibility) and stainless steel (to operate up to stripper pressures). Reclaiming residue composition and properties at different feed and operating conditions will be analysed, the feasibility of a wider range of measurements will also be investigated.

This project strives to tackle and take action against climate change by gaining invaluable knowledge of the effect of solvent degradation, arising from different process conditions and types of flue gas impurities on the thermal reclaiming of MEA and other solvents.

More on Carbon Capture from the Grantham Centre

Why scientists should think like policy makers: Interview with Gloria Mensah. In this interview, Grantham Scholar Gloria explains how the rise and fall of carbon capture technology on the UK government’s agenda reveals lessons for all sustainability researchers.


Dr Abby Samson

Department of Mechanical Engineering


Professor Jon Gibbins

Department of Mechanical Engineering