The construction of the process plant required for carbon capture in power generation and also other industrial processes is expected to be among the most significant capital investments of the next 20–30 years. The correct choice of materials for piping, vessels and all types of equipment will be vital in ensuring the long-term performance, safety and high operational availability of the capture plants through their lives. Controlling capital and operating costs related to materials will help enable a wider and faster rollout of carbon capture systems.

The International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Research and Development Programme sponsored Intetech to perform a major study of corrosion issues and materials selection in carbon capture, transport and storage. This wide-ranging and detailed study covered the corrosion and materials issues related to the three main carbon capture processes under development (post-combustion; pre-combustion, integrated gasification combined cycle; and oxy-fuel) along with corrosion and materials integrity in pipeline transport of carbon dioxide and in carbon dioxide sequestration.

The study covered various types and qualities of fuels, which each generate different impurity levels in the carbon dioxide stream. The work provides a comprehensive summary of the challenges and corrosion mitigation methods at every step of the process. It highlighted that the choice of carbon dioxide separation technology has a major impact on the material selection and the consequent cost-effectiveness of the engineering approach.