SINTEF SDR - Solvent Degradation Rig

Facility Location
City & country
Trondheim (Norway)
Description & contacts of the access provider
Legal name of organisation
SINTEF - Stiftelsen SINTEF
Infrastructure contact - Primary contact
Geir Haugen
RICC contact - Secondary contact
Rune Bredesen
Facility Availability
Unit of access
Availability per year
Minimum 30 days
Expected duration of single experiment:
30 days

The SDR rig is a laboratory test rig built to study the degradation of amine solvents over time under simulated CO2 capture conditions. Execution of a process protocol should give a qualitative picture of what degradation products are formed for a given solvent system. The experimental results would provide input on what degradation products to look for in emissions from a plant running on the specified solvent. These experiments should also give a relatively good picture of the risks presented by the different solvents. Process protocols that can be run in the SDR rig consist of Standard, High Oxygen, High NOx and High Temperature Protocols. Each protocol has different process condition as well as different gas composition resulting in different degradation products. In this rig, both oxidative and thermal degradations occur simultaneously. The rig operates 24 hours for 14 weeks (4 process protocols). Standard Protocol. The objective of this protocol is to measure degradation products of a specified solvent under normal operating condition for 5 weeks. The absorber and desorber operate at 40 and 120°C with the flue gas flowrate of 1 NL/min. The simulated flue gas used in this protocol consists of 85% N2, 12% O2 and a CO2 concentration of 3% (giving a resulting rich realistic CO2-loading in the absorber section. The solvent CO2- loading can be controlled in both the absorber and desorber section of the test rig.. Typically trace concentrations of NOx is also added, in order to study the formation of potential nitrosamines in the process. The liquid and gas samplings will be conducted at the end of the protocol (week 5). However, additional sampling may also be taken in week 3. High Oxygen Protocol. This protocol studies the effect of high O2 content in the flue gas on the degradation products gas from a specified solvent. The rig operating conditions are similar to those of the standard protocol (Tabs = 40°C, Tdes = 120°C, gas flowrate = 1 NL/min) with higher O2 concentration (18%). The protocol operates for 3 weeks after the standard protocol ends. Sampling will be conducted at the end of the protocol (week 3). High NOx Protocol. Effect of high NOx (50 ppm) on the degradation products is studied in this protocol for 3 weeks. The rig operating conditions are similar to those of the standard protocol. The protocol operates after the high O2 protocol ends. Sampling will be conducted at the end of the protocol (week 3). High Stripper Temperature Protocol. Thermal degradation is studied in this protocol. Stripper temperature is set to 140°C. The protocol operates after the high NOx protocol ends. Sampling will be conducted at the end of the protocol (week 3). Analysis. Some degradation products can be analyzed with LC-MS-MS-QQQ with an instrumental detection limit of about 5 µg/L. Typical degradation products of MEA consist of OZD, HEF, HEGly, HEPO etc. NDELA and NHEGly are two of the nitrosamines produced during the campaign.

State of the art, uniqueness, & specific advantages

The major part of the infrastructure contains various experimental techniques used to evaluate the performance of sorbents. All techniques offered are modern and the results obtained are expected to be of high scientific quality. The experiments can be conducted under realistic conditions at high temperatures, pressures, and under high partial pressures of steam. Also tests in a sulphur environment can be carried out. The equipment is monitored by skilled technicians/scientists. The choice of the right experiment/experimental conditions for a specific test can also be established through discussion with our experts. The pilot is very well suited for testing new promising solvents before they are tested on larger units. Estimates of energy requirements, column heights, and operational aspects of the solvent will be revealed by the pilot plant as well as data for process modeling. The lab pilot is recently rebuilt with new and more efficient packing. The total liquid holdup is small (thus it is possible to test more expensive solvent systems without high costs). The burner gives a constant and reliable source of gas and the plant is very well instrumented and controlled such that steady state conditions in the column are easily obtained. The whole plant is controlled by a process control system from Siemens (PCS 7). Around 120 temperatures and 75 other tags (pressures, analysers etc.) are handled by the system. Data treatment systems have been made such that the results are easily processed and presented. Experienced and skilled technicians/scientists give the necessary support to get the best out of the campaign program.

  • The facility is very flexible with easy access to all parts of the plant. Most modifications of the plant may be done inexpensively and additional instrumentation can be added for special purposes.
  • The SDR rig is designed to study degradation products formed for a given solvent system under certain process conditions. The experimental results would provide input on what degradation products to look for in emissions from a plant running on the specified solvent. The laboratory has a close co-operation with analytical laboratories (SINTEF Biotechnology), which makes it possible to analyze liquid samples for degradation products and amines.
Scientific Environment

We offer the above mentioned experiments to be carried out in one infrastructure. Skilled scientists and technicians are available to assist visiting researchers. Also, a desk with internet access will be available during the stay. We have, in our laboratory several degradation equipment's and we cooperate with other laboratories at SINTEF that offer environmental evaluation of the solvent (biodegradation and ecotoxicity, see publication list below).,We offer access to the lab pilot plant for performing solvent test campaigns with technicians and researchers from SINTEF and NTNU. They have used the pilot since 1998 and will give valuable experience and help in operation and interpretation of the results. The SDR rig has been used to measure degradation products from specified solvents in CCM Amine 4 Process Protocol and Testing of Solvent in SDR rig. The analysis facility is very good including advanced analysis of degradation products because of a very well equipped analytical laboratory at the site (SINTEF Biolab).


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