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Chemical absorption (methanol)


Technology Description

Chemical absorption of CO2 is a common process operation based on the reaction between CO2 and a chemical solvent (e.g. amine-based). The CO2 is released at temperatures typically in the range 120°C - 150°C and the solvent is regenerated for further operation. We are not aware of projects currently using this capture technology in methanol production linked with CO2 storage - thus the technology is at TRL 5 for the full CCS chain, in contrast to TRL 9 for CCU. Multiple commercial coal-based methanol plants use chemical absorption as part of the production process, putting the capture technology itself at TRL 11. We are aware of projects subsequently using the CO2, putting the CCU chain at TRL 9.

Relevance for Net Zero

Applying chemical absorption-based CO2 capture to coal-based methanol production could enable capture of a higher proportion of plant emissions (by also capturing emissions from smaller process units) than physical absorption. However, physical absorption already captures a considerable portion of emissions, so deployment of chemical absorption may be less crucial. Note that capture is not needed for natural gas-based methanol production, as the CO2 is in a quantity in the syngas that can be used in the final chemical.

Key Countries

Brazil, Bahrain

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