Techno-economic assessment of CO 2 capture at steam methane reforming facilities using commercially available technology

J. C. Meerman, E. S. Hamborg, T. van Keulen, A. Ramírez, W. C. Turkenburg, A. P.C. Faaij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to identify the optimal techno-economic configuration of CO 2 capture at steam methane reforming facilities using currently available technologies by means of process simulations. Results indicate that the optimal system is CO 2 capture with ADIP-X located between the water-gas shift and pressure swing adsorption units. Process simulations of this system configuration showed a CO 2 emission reduction of 60% at 41€/t CO 2 avoidance. This is at the lower end of the range reported in open literature for CO 2 capture at refineries (26-82€/t CO 2) and below the avoidance costs for CO 2 capture at natural gas-fired power plants (44-93€/t CO 2). CO 2 avoidance costs are dominated by the natural gas consumption, responsible for up to 66% of total costs. Using imported steam and electricity can reduce CO 2 avoidance costs by 45%. Addition of small amounts of piperazine to aqueous MDEA solutions results in up to 70% smaller absorbers or 10% lower reboiler heat duty. Optimising the whole capture process instead of individual units resulted in lower piperazine concentrations than the common industrial practice (3mass% vs. 5mass%). Finally, keeping the solvent rate constant when operating the capture unit below its design load resulted in a lower specific energy for CO 2 capture than when the solvent rate was downscaled with the syngas flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-171
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • ADIP-X
  • CO capture
  • H -production
  • Steam methane reforming
  • Techno-economic


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