Insights and Commentaries

Insights and Commentaries

Reduction of freshwater usage of a coal-fired power plant with CCS by applying a high level of integration of all water streams

15th January 2015

Topic(s): Carbon capture, Engineering and project delivery, use and storage (CCUS)


The integration of the recently built 1070 MWe coal-fired unit in Rotterdam (Netherlands) with the proposed new 250 MWe demonstration carbon capture unit of the Rotterdam Opslag en Afvang Demonstratieproject (ROAD) would lead to a substantial reduction in freshwater withdrawal and usage. This is partly due to the power plant design, the most relevant features being the seawater direct cooling and the limestone gypsum Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD), and partly due to the high level of integration.

The addition of the ROAD carbon capture demo plant will increase the cooling water usage at MPP3. For units using evaporative cooling (such as conventional cooling towers) this will result in a substantial increase in water usage, this being the dominant water consumption by such a power plant. However, where seawater cooling is available, as at MPP3, this has a much more limited environmental impact. The impact can be even lower if an optimised integration of heat and water streams are adopted in the design, as at ROAD, and this will also be described.

The webinar illustrated the detailed water balances with and without the capture plant that ROAD has carried out in order to estimate the water and (aqueous) waste streams of the capture plant, including quality and (re-) use in the power plant. The implications for a full-scale capture have been also discussed.

The result showed included a quantification of:

  • The cooling (sea)water demand increase for the demonstration capture plant and for a full scale plant of the same design

  • The production of water in the capture process and its reuse in the power plant, reducing freshwater usage.


Here is a recording of the webinar and a browsable version of the slides used in the presentation:

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