Prospective Students







2004-05 Seminars

Comparative Assessments Of Fossil Fuel Power Plants With CO2 Capture And Storage

Prof. Ed Rubin

Studies of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) costs necessarily employ a host of technical and economic assumptions regarding the particular technology or system of interest, including details regarding the capture technology design, the power plant or gas stream treated, and the methods of CO2 transport and storage. Because the specific assumptions employed can dramatically affect the results of an analysis, published studies are often of limited value to researchers, analysts and industry personnel seeking results for alternative assumptions or plant characteristics. In the present paper, we use a generalized modeling tool to estimate and compare the emissions, efficiency, resource requirements and costs of PC, IGCC and NGCC power plants on a systematic basis. This plant-level analysis explores a broader range of key assumptions than found in recent studies we reviewed. In particular, the effects on cost comparisons of higher natural gas prices and differential plant utilization rates are highlighted, along with implications of financing and operating assumptions for IGCC plants. The impacts of CCS energy requirements on plant-level resource requirements and multi-media emissions also are quantified. While some CCS technologies offer ancillary benefits via the co-capture of certain criteria air pollutants, the increases in specific fuel consumption, reagent use, solid wastes and other air pollutants associated with current CCS systems are found to be significant. To properly characterize such impacts, an alternative definition of the "energy penalty" is proposed in lieu of the prevailing use of this term.