The present study evaluated the environmental impacts of post-combustion CO2 capture and recovery via membrane–gas absorption processes. We have used SimaPro v.9 packages with the Ecoinvent v3.5 database employing two different methods, ReCiPe 2016 Endpoint (H) and Midpoint (H), considering a fundamental methodological framework to determine the most environmentally friendly experimental condition. Life cycle impact categories were examined and assessed supposing a functional unit of 1 kgCO2/h recovered. Fourteen environmental impact categories including global warming, ozone depletion, eutrophication, and toxicity potentials have been evaluated within the context of a gate-to-gate approach focusing on only the process stage. Simulation results showed that the maximum liquid flow rate, sweep helium flow rate together with the minimum solvent concentration demonstrated the highest impact on human health, ecosystem, and resources. The usage of pure methyldiethanolamine (MDEA) activated by piperazine as a reactive absorbent provided the lowest environmental impact due to the elimination of the energy needed to heat and evaporate water present in aqueous absorbent solutions and the prevention of the excess water consumption depending on meeting the water needed for reactive absorption of CO2 in tertiary amine MDEA from simulated humidified flue gas stream. The study highlights the importance of LCA in the determination of an environmentally more sustainable condition during the capture and recovery of post-combustion CO2 by gas absorption and stripping using membrane contactors in tertiary amine MDEA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- environmental impact
- life cycle assessment
- membrane contactor
- post-combustion CO capture