Carbon dioxide capture by solvent absorption using amino acids: A review

Guoping Hu, Kathryn H. Smith, Yue Wu, Kathryn A. Mumford, Sandra E. Kentish, Geoffrey W. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide is of major concern with regard to increasing the risk of climate change. Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) has been proposed as an important pathway for slowing the rate of these emissions. Solvent absorption of CO2 using amino acid solvents has drawn much attention over the last few years due to advantages including their ionic nature, low evaporation rate, low toxicity, high absorption rate and high biodegradation potential, compared to traditional amine solvents. In this review, recent progress on the absorption kinetics of amino acids is summarised, and the engineering potential of using amino acids as carbon capture solvents is discussed. The reaction orders between amino acids and carbon dioxide are typically between 1 and 2. Glycine exhibits a reaction order of 1, whilst, by comparison, lysine, proline and sarcosine have the largest reaction constants with carbon dioxide which is much larger than that of the benchmark solvent monoethanolamine (MEA). Ionic strength, pH and cations such as sodium and potassium have been shown to be important factors influencing the reactivity of amino acids. Corrosivity and reactivity with impurities such as SOx and NOx are not considered to be significant problems for amino acids solvents. The precipitation of CO2 loaded amino acid salts is thought to be a good pathway for increasing CO2 loading capacity and cutting desorption energy costs if well-controlled. It is recommended that more detailed research on amino acid degradation and overall process energy costs is conducted. Overall, amino acid solvents are recognised as promising potential solvents for carbon dioxide capture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2229-2237
Number of pages9
JournalChinese Journal of Chemical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


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