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The Power to Reduce CO2 Emissions: The Full Portfolio

What the U.S. electricity sector must do to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in coming decades.

Fortnightly Magazine - October 2007

involves membrane technology for separating the CO 2 from syngas, which could enable a 50-percent reduction in both the capital cost and auxiliary power requirements.

Post-combustion CO 2 capture for PC plants uses a solvent to interact with the flue gas and adsorb the CO 2. A 2000 EPRI-DOE study concluded that the energy needed by the current monoethanolamine (MEA) process would reduce net power by 29 percent and raise the cost of electricity by 65 percent. Extensive research is being done to test and develop better solvents, such as chilled ammonia, which may reduce power consumption to as low as 10 percent, with an associated cost-of-electricity increase of about 25 percent. Alstom and EPRI are conducting a 5-MWt pilot scale test of a chilled ammonia process at We Energies’ Pleasant Prairie Power Station. If successful, a 30-MW pilot will follow around 2010.

Key research milestones and deployment targets include:

• By 2012, conduct multiple 10-MW scale oxy-combustion pilot projects, leading to pre-commercial demonstration around 2020 and beyond.

• By 2015, conduct pilot projects demonstrating chilled ammonia and improved amine capture technologies.

• By 2020, develop new/improved processes and membrane contactors for post-combustion capture in support of Ultragen-II demonstration.


Storage Technology

Geologic CO 2 storage has been proven effective by nature, as evidenced by the numerous natural underground CO 2 reservoirs in Colorado, Utah, and other Western states. Large-scale injection and storage of CO 2 produced from electricity generation, however, has not been proven. DOE has an active R&D program, the “Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships,” which is mapping geologic formations suitable for CO 2 storage and conducting pilot-scale CO 2 injection validation tests across the country.

Key research milestones and deployment targets include:

• By 2010, complete the validation phase of the U.S. Department of Energy regional partnerships.

• By 2018, complete the deployment phase of the U.S. Department of Energy regional partnerships deployment phase.

• By 2020, conduct 3 to 5 large-scale demonstrations of CO 2 storage (for multiple geologies) receiving captured CO 2 from coal plants.

• By 2020, demonstrate commercial availability of CO 2 storage capable of supporting new coal plants capturing 90 percent of CO 2.