A technical, economic, and environmental assessment of amine-based CO2 capture technology for power plant greenhouse gas control

Environ Sci Technol. 2002 Oct 15;36(20):4467-75. doi: 10.1021/es0158861.


Capture and sequestration of CO2 from fossil fuel power plants is gaining widespread interest as a potential method of controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Performance and cost models of an amine (MEA)-based CO2 absorption system for postcombustion flue gas applications have been developed and integrated with an existing power plant modeling framework that includes multipollutant control technologies for other regulated emissions. The integrated model has been applied to study the feasibility and cost of carbon capture and sequestration at both new and existing coal-burning power plants. The cost of carbon avoidance was shown to depend strongly on assumptions about the reference plant design, details of the CO2 capture system design, interactions with other pollution control systems, and method of CO2 storage. The CO2 avoidance cost for retrofit systems was found to be generally higher than for new plants, mainly because of the higher energy penalty resulting from less efficient heat integration as well as site-specific difficulties typically encountered in retrofit applications. For all cases, a small reduction in CO2 capture cost was afforded by the SO2 emission trading credits generated by amine-based capture systems. Efforts are underway to model a broader suite of carbon capture and sequestration technologies for more comprehensive assessments in the context of multipollutant environmental management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Air Pollution / economics
  • Air Pollution / prevention & control*
  • Amines / chemistry
  • Carbon Dioxide / isolation & purification*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Fossil Fuels*
  • Greenhouse Effect*


  • Amines
  • Fossil Fuels
  • Carbon Dioxide