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Research Papers: Energy Conversion/Systems

CO2 Emissions Reduction From Coal-Fired Power Generation: A Techno-Economic Comparison

[+] Author and Article Information
Vittorio Tola

Department of Mechanical,
Chemical and Materials Engineering,
University of Cagliari,
Via Marengo 2,
Cagliari 09123, Italy
e-mail: vittorio.tola@dimcm.unica.it

Giorgio Cau

Department of Mechanical,
Chemical and Materials Engineering,
University of Cagliari,
Via Marengo 2,
Cagliari 09123, Italy
e-mail: gcau@unica.it

Francesca Ferrara

Sotacarbo S.p.A.,
Grande Miniera di Serbariu,
Carbonia 09013, Italy
e-mail: f.ferrara@sotacarbo.it

Alberto Pettinau

Sotacarbo S.p.A.,
Grande Miniera di Serbariu,
Carbonia 09013, Italy
e-mail: apettinau@sotacarbo.it

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received October 30, 2015; final manuscript received August 22, 2016; published online September 14, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Vittorio Verda.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 138(6), 061602 (Sep 14, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: JERT-15-1413; doi: 10.1115/1.4034547 History: Received October 30, 2015; Revised August 22, 2016

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) represents a key solution to control the global warming reducing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. This study reports a comparative performance assessment of different power generation technologies, including ultrasupercritical (USC) pulverized coal combustion plant with postcombustion CO2 capture, integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) with precombustion CO2 capture, and oxy-coal combustion (OCC) unit. These three power plants have been studied considering traditional configuration, without CCS, and a more complex configuration with CO2 capture. These technologies (with and without CCS systems) have been compared from both the technical and economic points of view, considering a reference thermal input of 1000 MW. As for CO2 storage, the sequestration in saline aquifers has been considered. Whereas a conventional (without CCS) coal-fired USC power plant results to be more suitable than IGCC for power generation, IGCC becomes more competitive for CO2-free plants, being the precombustion CO2 capture system less expensive (from the energetic point of view) than the postcombustion one. In this scenario, oxy-coal combustion plant is currently not competitive with USC and IGCC, due to the low industrial experience, which means higher capital and operating costs and a lower plant operating reliability. But in a short-term future, a progressive diffusion of commercial-scale OCC plants will allow a reduction of capital costs and an improvement of the technology, with higher efficiency and reliability. This means that OCC promises to become competitive with USC and also with IGCC.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

USC simplified scheme

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Fig. 2

OCC simplified scheme

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Fig. 3

IGCC simplified scheme

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Fig. 4

Sensitivity analysis on CO2-free plant configurations: effects of capital cost

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Fig. 5

Sensitivity analysis on CO2-free plant configurations: effects of plant availability

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