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Solvent-based CO2 absorption processes are the oldest and most mature technology, having been deployed at what is considered full-scale for post-combustion CO2 capture. There are many commercial 1st and 2nd generation technologies such as Econamine FG+, CANSOLV, Oase Blue, KS-1, with dozens if not hundreds of 3rd generation solvents that are been studied at various stages of testing. While there are many solvents that are under development, nearly all solvents function on the same physical and chemical principles and it is not surprising that they all have similar configurations with comparable levels of performance. The enhancements in energy efficiency for solvents have come primarily from the engineering advancements that have been achieved over many decades of refinement, whereas little has changed with respect to the molecular structure of solvents over the same period of time. In this chapter, we explain the tenets of solvent-based processes and provide a chronological timeline of solvents throughout their nearly 90-year history with discussions as to why and how the advancements in solvent efficiency have been achieved and we conclude with an outlook on the future of solvents and their place in carbon capture and storage.

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