Capturing CO2

11th May 2007

Topic(s): Carbon capture use and storage (CCUS), CO2 capture

Emissions of greenhouse gases are expected to cause climate change. The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2) and the major source of it is the combustion of fossil fuels to supply energy. Emissions can be reduced by a variety of measures, such as improving energy efficiency and developing alternative energy sources, like wind and solar power. However, a rapid move away from fossil fuels is unlikely as energy supply infrastructure has a long lifetime, and such a move could destabilise economies.

Another way to reduce emissions is to capture the CO2 that is released from fossil fuel-fired power plants and store it underground. This is the focus of this report, as power generation accounts for about one-third of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use. The current leading technologies for power generation are pulverised fuel (PF) combustion steam cycles and natural gas combined cycles (NGCC). The IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEA GHG) has assessed the performance and costs of these power plants, both with and without the capture of CO2. Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) for the gasification of coal, which was included in the assessment, may be a suitable technology from which to capture CO2. A number of criteria were specified for all the studies to enable the results to be compared in a meaningful manner. The main specifications are listed in the Annex at the end of the report.


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Capturing CO2


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