Experimental protocols were established at IFPEN and EDF to degrade amines in representative conditions: the same degradation products as in a pilot plant were obtained in the case of MEA.
Six analytical methods based on chromatography (liquid and gas) coupled with mass spectrometry were developed to analyze liquid samples. Some of them used a first step of sample treatment: liquid-liquid extraction or volatile compounds vaporisation and adsorption on a sorbent.
A novel method was also developed for gas sampling based on compounds adsorption on a sorbent. Adsorbed compounds were then desorbed by heating and analyzed by GC-MS.
38 MEA degradation products have been identified yet in the liquid phase. Some of them are also present in the gas phase. 21 of them were identified for the first time to the best of our knowledge.
Degradation mechanisms were proposed to explain the formation of most of them.
Toxicity studies were done for 35 MEA degradation products. A bibliographic approach was used if data were available. For 10 products, an in silico assessment were done. Complete toxicological reports were established for 10 pyrazines, piperazine and 3 nitrosamines. For nitrosamines, an exposure limit value was determined.