Report details economics of carbon capture for coal fired power generation

Menlo Park, Calif., January 13, 2010 — SRI Consulting released an economic report on advanced carbon capture that examines the technology and economics of three processes for capturing 90 percent of the carbon emissions from electric power generation using supercritical pulverized coal.

A great deal of attention has been given in recent years to the effects of carbon emissions on climate change. One of the largest contributors to carbon emissions is the generation of electricity from coal.

SRIC’s Process Economics Program report “Advanced Carbon Capture” examines three post-combustion scrubbing technologies: conventional monoethanolamine, advanced amine and chilled ammonia.

Analysis is conducted based on new plant construction at 550 MW net power output. All three of these processes have technical and economic issues that must be overcome before they can be implemented at scale.

On a levelized cost basis with 90 percent carbon dioxide capture and compression, MEA scrubbing adds 4.5 cents/KWh, while the advanced amine and chilled ammonia processes each add 4.1 cents/KWh to the cost of power generation.

Assistant Director of SRIC’s Greenhouse Gases Initiative and author Michael Arne commented, “The scale of the process equipment needed for power plant applications is remarkable. All three processes covered in this report require Gulliver-like equipment that will have its own challenges such as proper liquid distribution, pressure drop, and structural issues in the construction of such large equipment items.”

Mr. Arne continued, “For example, for a plant producing 550 MW net power output, each of the processes analyzed will require two absorbers roughly 40 feet in diameter by 100 feet tall.”

SRI Consulting is a business research service for the global chemical industry. This report was developed by the Process Economics Program group providing in-depth, independent technical and economic evaluation of both commercial and emerging technologies for the chemical and energy industries.



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