Electrochemically mediated amine regeneration (EMAR) was recently developed to avoid the use of thermal means to release CO2 captured from postcombustion flue gas in the benchmark amine process. To address concerns related to the high vapor pressure of ethylenediamine (EDA) as the primary amine used in EMAR, a mixture of EDA and aminoethylethanolamine (AEEA) was investigated. The properties of the mixed amine systems, including the absorption rates, electrolyte pH and conductivity, and CO2 capacity, were evaluated in comparison with those of solely EDA. The mixed amine system had similar properties to that of EDA, indicating no significant changes would be necessary for the future implementation of the EMAR process with mixed amines as opposed to that with just EDA. The electrochemical performance of the mixed amines in terms of the cell voltage, gas desorption rate, electron utilization, and energetics was also investigated. A 50/50 mixture of EDA and AEEA displayed the lowest energetics: ∼10% lower than that of 100% EDA. With this mixture, a continuous EMAR process, in which the absorption column was connected to the electrochemical cell as the desorption stage, was tested over 100 h. The cell voltage was very stable and there was a steady gas output close to theoretical values. The desorbed gas was further analyzed and found to be 100% CO2, confirming no evaporation of the amine. The mixed absorbent composition was also characterized using titration and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and the results showed no amine degradation. These findings that demonstrate a stable, low vapor pressure absorbent with improved energetics are promising and could be a guideline for the future development of EMAR for CO2 capture from flue gas and other sources.


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