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Handling of Amine-Based Wastewater Produced During Carbon Capture

J. N. Yin1*, C. J. An2, K. Zhao1, Y. K. An3,S. Young4

  1. UR-SaskPower Laboratory of Environmental Processes for Power Industry, Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2, Canada
  2. Department of Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Québec H3G 1M8, Canada
  3. Department of Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering, Purdue University, Indiana 47907, USA
  4. Faculty of Engineering and Applied science, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2, Canada

*Corresponding author. Tel.: + 306-596-0704; fax: + 1-306-5854855. E-mail address: (J. N. Yin).


The large-scale implementation of amine-based carbon capture processes requires the development of sustainable handling technology of the waste effluents. The generated wastewater contains significant amounts of ammonia and toxic degradation products, nitroamines and nitrosamines. They both pose great threats to the ecological environment and human health. Monoethanolamine (MEA) is one of the most commonly used absorption solvents in the post-combustion carbon capture process. In order to make a better management strategy, the waste components and the pathways of MEA degradation are demonstrated based on different reference papers and case studies. Moreover, the toxicity and environmental impact of the degradation products are evaluated. The goal of this review is to elucidate potential technologies that can either eliminate the hazardous nature of the amine waste or convert it into marketable products. We categorize these technologies as waste disposal, recycle, reuse, and chemical/biological treatment method. Several applications with a focus on biodegradation technique are examined according to their amine removal performance. The results reveal that bioconversion is a promising technique for handling amine-based wastewater at large-scale.

Keywords: Amine-based wastewater, carbon capture, monoethanolamin, solvent degradation, reclamation, biological treatment

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