Carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery could provide revenues for CO 2 capture projects in the absence of strong carbon taxes, providing a means for technological learning and economies of scale to reduce the cost of CCS. Investment decisions are made iteratively over a 35 year simulation period, and long-term changes to technology cost and revenues are tracked.
Installed capacity at is used as an indicator, with 1 gigatonne per year of CO 2 capture used as a benchmark for successful large-scale CCS deployment. Results show that current CO 2 tax and oil price conditions do not incentivize gigatonne-scale investment in CCS. Nonlinear feedbacks between early deployment and learning result in large changes in final state due to small changes in initial conditions. Through multidimensional sensitivity analysis we outline combinations of conditions that result in gigatonne-scale CCS. This study provides insight levels of taxes, learning rates, and oil prices required for successful scale-up of the CCS industry.
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Fetching data from CrossRef. This may take some time to load. Jump to main content. Jump to site search. A Government Accountability Office report noted that the largest demonstration of carbon capture in a coal plant was at a pilot scale TRL 7 or less, and that demonstration of large scale integrated CCS systems is a technical challenge that is at least years away from being realized.
By far the most energy intensive portion of the CCS process, carbon capture produces a concentrated stream of CO 2 that can be compressed, transported and eventually stored. Some capture technologies are economically feasible under specific conditions while others remain in the research stages. Since every ton of coal burned produces 3. Depending on the process or power station in question, three approaches to capture exist- pre-, post- and oxyfuel combustion:. According to the U. Department of Energy, it is not economical to retrofit existing coal plants with carbon capture technology:.
Unless a power station is located directly above a geological storage area, captured CO 2 must be delivered to a storage site. Pipelines are the most feasible transportation method for large amounts of CO 2 for distances up to around 1, km. While they are a mature market technology, pipeline infrastructure for large-scale transport of CO 2 is mostly lacking. On a local scale, release of CO 2 leading to concentrations greater than 7—10 percent by volume in the air can immediately jeopardise life and health of exposed individuals. A natural example of a sudden emergence of a large volume of CO 2 occurred in a volcanic active area at Lake Nyos in Cameroon in Large quantities of CO 2 accumulated on the bottom of Lake Nyos were suddenly released.
The released CO 2 poured an invisible cloud over the valleys below, killing people and thousands of cattle in a range of 25 km. CO 2 can also be transported by ships as well as rail and road tankers. Transport of liquefied CO 2 via ships is possible in some situations and may even be more economical than pipeline transport when long distances are involved. Road and rail transport, while technically feasible, is costly and unlikely to be utilized in utility scale CCS operations.
They largely include methods relating to geological and ocean storage. In conjunction with the actual physical storage of CO 2 in these locations are the subsequent measuring, monitoring and verification MMV processes needed to ensure that the integrity of the storage site is maintained. Leakage of CO 2 poses a threat not only to climate mitigation efforts but also to human health and the environment. Standard protocol and the precise tools for MMV await development.
At present, substantial gaps exist with respect to a legal and regulatory framework that would govern the safe and long-term administration of CO 2 storage, leaving significant questions about liability and risk unanswered.
The Atlas identifies over 3, billion metric tons of carbon dioxide storage potential in oil and gas reservoirs, coal seams, and saline formations. The document suggests that these geologic formations could provide over years of CO 2 storage. A study in March found that the United States will need to drill over , - and perhaps up to 3 times that number - injection wells to inject enough carbon dioxide and keep total emissions at levels. The study was based on data from the petroleum industry, which has been injecting CO 2 for enhanced oil recovery for more than 30 years.
As a comparison for feasibility, approximately 40, oil and gas wells are drilled each year in the U. The study concluded: .
Carbon Dioxide Conversion to Methanol: Opportunities and Fundamental Challenges
According to a peer-reviewed study published in the journal of Society of Petroleum Engineers in , titled "Sequestering Carbon Dioxide in a Close Underground Volume", the authors argue that past calculations of CCS have been widely off, rendering the technology impractical. Michael Economides explains:. A research study published by the journal Nature Geoscience in June reported that storing carbon underwater or in the ground could create many long-term problems.
Storing carbon in the ocean would contribute to acidification, stated the report. Additionally, underground storage areas also exhibit multiple issues, such as leakage. Gas would have to be stored for tens of thousands of years to avoid becoming a threat to future generations, a scenario similar to nuclear waste, stated the report.
In November the World Coal Institute , a lobby group for the coal mining industry, released a report arguing that the "current CCS deployment is too slow to allow necessary global GHG emissions reductions goals to be achieved. There is an urgent need to fund demonstration projects and that funding needs to come from both governments as well as a robust carbon market.
The coal lobby group argued that "reducing GHG emissions will require society to pay costs long before most benefits are realised. Success will therefore require strong political will and leadership. The appetite for this will largely hinge on public acceptance. In its annual report, Massey Energy , a major U. In addition, technical, environmental, economic, or other factors may delay, limit, or preclude large-scale commercial deployment of such technologies, which could ultimately provide little or no significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from coal combustion," it stated.
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle IGCC , which converts coal into synthetic gas or syngas to extract more energy, is being promoted as a path toward carbon capture and storage ; however as of capturing carbon dioxide CO2 reduces plant efficiency and increases water usage. A consultancy report for an Australian government agency highlighted that CCS would also impose additional demands on finite water supplies. This is because water-cooled, low-emission, thermal power plants are likely to be significantly more water intensive than current coal-fired power plants.
For example, coal-fired power plants incorporating carbon capture and storage CCS could be one-quarter to one-third more water intensive," the report states. Most of the major coal-based carbon capture and sequestration projects had been put on hold or cancelled by the close of , although research and demonstration projects were continuing. In , some eleven CCS projects have been put on hold or cancelled, according to the Global CCS Institute, while eight new research efforts were identified.
The report noted a variety of reasons for the setbacks, including uncertain conditions in national economies and downscaling at utilities which had planned to include CCS in new-build power stations. Europe had 13 of the delayed or cancelled projects.
And the Longannet carbon capture project was scrapped in October, CO 2 -water hydrates form and exist as ice crystals in a slurry of water, while other flue gas components remain in the vapour phase and are recovered. CO 2 is thereafter recovered by heating the ice crystals, which releases the CO 2 molecules. The disadvantage is the low temperature and very high pressure required for hydrate formation.
Studies are currently being conducted on additives and hydrate formation promoters to reduce the required pressure for hydrate formation, so as to improve the feasibility of the process. Moreover, the handling of slurries results in maintenance problems such as pipeline plugging. Hydrate formation as a CO 2 capture technique is relatively under-developed. There are plans, however, to set up a pilot plant in the USA which caters for hydrate formation.
CO 2 mitigation through the design of new coal power plants.
Economics of carbon dioxide capture and utilization—a supply and demand perspective
The CO 2 capture techniques described above are investigated primarily for their ability to capture CO 2 from conventional PC power plants. These techniques are intended to be retrofitted in post-combustion mode to existing PC power plants. However, a further option for future coal power plants is to design the coal combustion process in a manner that would result in favourable flue gas composition and conditions, and hence result in more efficient CO 2 capture, from a cost and energy point of view.
The main alternative coal combustion processes currently under investigation are integrated gasification combined cycle, oxy-fuel combustion, integrated gasification steam cycle and chemical looping combustion. Integrated gasification combined cycle.
- Economics of carbon dioxide capture and utilization—a supply and demand perspective.
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A new alternative power plant process is the integrated gasification combined cycle IGCC process. While there are currently no such power plants in South Africa, the process has some advantages over PC power plants and is a more environmentally friendly alternative for new power plant construction.
In this process, nearly pure oxygen O 2 is produced using an air separation unit.
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The O 2 is sent to a gasifier together with coal. Combustion in the presence of nearly pure O 2 occurs. The reactions occurring in the gasifier are 43 :. After particulate removal, the syngas is sent to a shift convertor to undergo a water gas shift reaction:. Steam is utilised in the convertor as a reactant.