EU OCTAVIUS project reports encouraging findings on amine emissions


OCTAVIUS (Optimisation of CO2 Capture Technology Allowing Verification and Implementation at Utility Scale) is a European FP7 project dedicated to the demonstration of integrated concepts for zero emission power plants covering all the components needed for power generation as well as CO2 capture and compression. This R&D project is coordinated by IFPEN and brings together 16 other stakeholders in the field of research and industry. An international workshop, organised by OCTAVIUS, took place in Heilbronn, Germany on 13-14 February 2014 which focused on ‘Emissions from CO2 post-combustion capture processes’. The main conclusions of the workshop were that the emissions stemming from solvents and degradation products, such as amines, pose a much lower risk than previously reported and should thus not act as an obstacle for the majority of post-combustion CO2 capture processes implemented in industrial facilities.

As a result of the extensive research work carried out over the past few years, significant progress has been made with regards to our understanding of the health and environmental impacts of amines used in CO2 capture. Several other international meetings focusing on the state of the science, such as the IEAGHG/CLIMIT workshop in February 2010 and the EPRI workshop in May 2012, have contributed to improvement in our knowledge of emissions phenomena and the potential risks of post-combustion CO2 capture processes with respect to these emissions.

The project has improved expertise to conduct risk assessment studies for the preparation of discharge permits for industrial-scale CO2 capture units. The workshop also found that, rather than dealing with general risk, the potential environmental impact is highly case-specific and should therefore be evaluated separately on a case-by-case basis.

Findings from the workshop have confirmed the importance of continuing research on the development of standards in terms of emission levels and emission measurements. This research should be conducted as part of joint international projects, such as the OCTAVIUS project, TCM (CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad) or the Working Group initiated by EPRI.