It is widely accepted that emissions of CO2, which is a major greenhouse gas, are the primary cause of climate change. This has led to the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies in which CO2 is captured from large-scale point sources such as power plants. However, retrofits of carbon capture plants result in high efficiency penalties, which have been reported to fall in the range of 7–12% points in the case of post-combustion capture from natural gas-fired power plants. Therefore, a reduction of these efficiency losses is a high priority in order to deploy CCS at a large scale. At the moment, chemical solvent scrubbing using amines, such as monoethanolamine (MEA), is considered as the most mature option for CO2 capture from fossil fuel-fired power plants. However, due to high heat requirements for solvent regeneration, and thus high associated efficiency penalties, the use of alternative solvents has been considered to reduce the energy demand. In this study, a techno-economic assessment of the post-combustion CO2 capture process using 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP) for decarbonisation of a natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plant was performed. The thermodynamic assessment revealed that the AMP-based process resulted in 25.6% lower reboiler duty compared to that of the MEA-based process. This was primarily because the AMP solvent can be regenerated at a higher temperature (140 °C) and pressure (3.5 bar) compared to that of MEA (120 °C and 1.8 bar). Furthermore, the efficiency penalty due to the retrofit of the AMP-based process with the natural gas combined cycle power plant was estimated to be 7.1% points, compared to 9.1% points in the case of integration with the MEA-based process. Regardless of the superior thermodynamic performance, the economic performance of the AMP-based process was shown to be better than that of the MEA-based process only for make-up rates below 0.03%. Therefore, use of AMP as a solvent in chemical solvent scrubbing may not be the most feasible option from the economic standpoint, even though it can significantly reduce the efficiency penalty associated with CO2 capture from NGCCs.

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