Thermal degradation of amino acid salts in CO2 capture

Quanzhen Huang, Saloni Bhatnagar, Joseph E. Remias, John P. Selegue, Kunlei Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The resistance of amine-based CO2 capture solutions to thermal degradation is a critical characteristic that helps to de termine their potential for use as a post-combustion CO2 capture solvent. In this research, sodium salts of glycine, sarcosine, alanine and β-alanine were thermally degraded at 125°C, 135°C and 145°C, respectively, to discover the structural reasons for their thermal stability. These four amino acids have enhanced thermal degradation rates compared to reference monoethanolamine (MEA) solvent. The stability order for amino acid salts tested to date is: sarcosinate>alaninate>β-alaninate. Steric hindrance at the amine group plays a positive role in protecting the amino acid against degradation. Calculated activation energies for the degradation processes are lower than that of MEA. β-Alaninate (β-Ala) thermal degradation generates β-Ala dimer (major degradation product), β-Ala dimer carbamate and tetrahydro-1,3-oxazin-6-one. The relative yields of these three β-alanine degradation routes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Carbon Management Research Group (CMRG) with members, including; Duke Energy, East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence (KY-DEDI), Kentucky Power (AEP), and LG&E and KU Energy.


  • Activation energy
  • Amino acid
  • Post-combustion
  • Thermal degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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