Real-time monitoring of emissions from monoethanolamine-based industrial scale carbon capture facilities. Academic Article uri icon


  • We demonstrate the capabilities and properties of using Proton Transfer Reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) to real-time monitor gaseous emissions from industrial scale amine-based carbon capture processes. The benchmark monoethanolamine (MEA) was used as an example of amines needing to be monitored from carbon capture facilities, and to describe how the measurements may be influenced by potentially interfering species in CO2 absorber stack discharges. On the basis of known or expected emission compositions, we investigated the PTR-ToF-MS MEA response as a function of sample flow humidity, ammonia, and CO2 abundances, and show that all can exhibit interferences, thus making accurate amine measurements difficult. This warrants a proper sample pretreatment, and we show an example using a dilution with bottled zero air of 1:20 to 1:10 to monitor stack gas concentrations at the CO2 Technology Center Mongstad (TCM), Norway. Observed emissions included many expected chemical species, dominantly ammonia and acetaldehyde, but also two new species previously not reported but emitted in significant quantities. With respect to concerns regarding amine emissions, we show that accurate amine quantifications in the presence of water vapor, ammonia, and CO2 become feasible after proper sample dilution, thus making PTR-ToF-MS a viable technique to monitor future carbon capture facility emissions, without conventional laborious sample pretreatment.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, L., Schade, G. W., & Nielsen, C. J

citation count

  • 47

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Liang||Schade, Gunnar Wolfgang||Nielsen, Claus Jørgen

publication date

  • December 2013