Skip to content

Technical Performance and Environmental Assessment of an Ionic Liquid-based CCS Process for Hydrogen Production


Hydrogen (H2) production combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is anticipated to be an important technology contributing to reduce the carbon footprint of current fossil-based H2 production systems. This work addresses for the first time the techno-environmental assessment of a CCS process based on the ionic liquid [Bmim][Acetate] for H2 production by steam methane reforming (SMR) and the comparison to conventional amine-based systems. Two different SMR plants using MDEA or [Bmim][Acetate] for CO2 capture were rigorously modelled using Aspen Plus to compute material and energy needs and emissions. Literature and simulation results were then used to perform a life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) of these processes based on the ReCiPe model. Solvent synthesis, CCS process and hydrogen production stages were considered for the cradle-to-gate analysis. Results showed that although [Bmim][Acetate] is a priori more harmful to the environment than amines (in a kg-to-kg comparison), LCIAs carried out for both CCS processes showed from 5 to 17 % lower environmental impacts values for all estimated categories when using [Bmim][Acetate] due to a 9.4 % more energy-efficient performance than MDEA, which also reduced a 17.4 % the total utility cost. Indeed, if a typical amine loss rate of 1.6 kg/tCO2 is assumed, the values of the environmental impacts increase up to 14 % for the IL-based CCS plant, but still maintaining its favorable results over MDEA. As consequence, the SMR plant with the IL-based CCS system exhibited 3–20 % lower values for most of the studied impact categories. These results contribute to shed some light on evaluating the sustainability of ILs with respect to conventional solvents for CO2 capture and to guide the synthesis of new more sustainable ILs but also, they would be used to compare the environmental burdens from the synthesis and process performance of other promising ILs for CO2 capture that are not environmentally assed yet.

Funding source: The authors are grateful to Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion ´ of Spain (project PID2020-118259RB-I00) and Comunidad de Madrid (project P2018/EMT4348) for financial support.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Spain

Article metrics loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error