Screening of Solvents for CO2 Capture considering Sustainability Criteria via Data Envelopment Analysis
Book chapter, 2017
The growing trend towards the development of more sustainable chemical products and processes has created a clear need for decision-support tools to evaluate and optimise the sustainability level of a system. In this work, we propose a new methodology to screen and select chemicals according to the extent to which they adhere to sustainability principles that is based on Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), a technique developed in economics for efficiency assessment. The capabilities of the DEA-based approach in the context of computer aided process engineering are demonstrated through the screening of 125 conventional amine-based solvents for CO 2 capture according to 10 performance indicators, considering technical (economic), environmental and social aspects simultaneously. Our approach eliminates 36% of the solvents (those found inefficient), and establishes in turn quantitative targets and clear guidelines on how to improve them. The DEA models are capable of identifying the practical downsides of amines as main sources of inefficiency, providing clear improvement targets for properties such as vapour pressure, acute toxicity and several life cycle impacts. The final aim of the DEA-based analysis is to facilitate the selection of more sustainable chemicals in the transition towards a more sustainable chemical industry.
Data Envelopment Analysis