Carbon Capture and Sequestration Carbon Capture

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Current carbon capture technologies require significant energy to remove CO2 from the exhaust gas, which in turn requires significant increases in fuel consumption to generate adequate power to meet both end use demand and the needs of carbon capture technologies [8]. The IPCC's Special Report on CO2 capture and storage [9] estimates that use of CCS would result in increased emissions of NO and NH,

as well as increased solid wastes requiring disposal. Table 12.1, based on Table 3.5 of the Special Report, summarizes the changes in effluents.

Table 12.1 Material influents and effluents estimated for several carbon capture and sequestration approaches (Adopted from IPCC special report on carbon dioxide capture and storage [9])

Pulverized coal with CCS

IGCC with CCS

NGCC with CCS

% Increase

% Increase

% Increase

Baseline

with CCS

Baseline

with CCS

Baseline

with CCS

Influent/effluent

(kg/MWh)

(kg/MWh)

(kg/MWh)

(kg/MWh)

(kg/MWh)

(kg/MWh)

Resource inputs

Fuel

297

31%

312

16%

133

17%

Lime-stone

20.7

33%

-

-

Ammonia

0.61

31%

-

-

CCS reagents

0

(2.76)

0

(0.005)

0

(0.80)

Emissions

Solid residues

58.8

39%

36.0

16%

0

0

SOx

0.29

-99.7%

0.28

18%

0

0

NO*

0.59

31%

0.09

11%

0.09

22%

nh3

0.01

2,200%

-

0

0.002

The increased fuel use, particularly for coal plants, will result in increased mine production with its inherent environmental impacts. Included in these impacts will be increased CH4 emissions [10], mine overburden, coal wastes, potential for water contamination, and surface subsidence. Many of these issues were addressed in detail in a 1999 life cycle assessment of coal-fired power generation by Spath et al. [11], which included air, water, and solid waste effluents for three types of power plants, and included emissions from power production, mining, and transportation [11].

For installation of a CCS system at a conventional power plant, the Spath et al. results can be used to estimate impacts by assuming a 30% increase in coal consumption as estimated in the IPCC CCS report. The major air emissions of concern from mining would be methane and other hydrocarbons, nitrous oxide (N2O), and the criteria pollutants (particulate matter, SO2, NOx, and CO). Releases to water include chlorides, fluorides, sulfates, and iron and other metals, usually at low levels per kWh of electricity generation. The pollutants with the largest mass emission per unit electricity output are dissolved matter, oils, suspended matter, and chemical oxygen demand (COD). Spath et al. also address solid wastes, with mining accounting for a measurable fraction of hazardous, municipal, and industrial, and unspecified solid wastes. Table 12.2 shows the major effluents from mining operations

Table 12.2 Average life cycle emissions per kWh of electricity produced from an average coal-fired power plant, assuming river transport of coal from mine to plant [11]

Effluent due to

Total

mining, adjusted

effluent

Effluent due to

for CCS

(g/kWh)

mining (g/kWh)

(g/kWh)

Emissions to air

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

1.02 x 103

8.67 x 100

1.13 x 101

Methane (CH4)

2.00 x 100

1.99 x 100

2.59 x 100

Total particulate matter (unspecified)

1.01 x 101

9.31 x 10-1

1.21 x 100

Sulfur oxides (SOx as SO2)

6.70 x 100

7.50 x 10-2

9.76 x 10-2

Non-methane hydrocarbons (including VOCs)

1.98 x 10-1

6.66 x 10-2

8.66 x 10-2

Nitrogen oxides (NOx as NO2)

3.34 x 100

3.67 x 10-2

4.78 x 10-2

Carbon monoxide (CO)

2.61 x 10-1

2.69 x 10-3

3.49 x 10-3

Nitrous oxide (N2O)

4.30 x 10-3

8.75 x 10-4

1.14 x 10-3

Organic matter (unspecified)

6.95 x 10-4

9.39 x 10-5

1.22 x 10-4

Aldehydes

4.64 x 10-4

5.23 x 10-5

6.80 x 10-5

Ammonia (NH3)

2.22 x 10-4

1.16 x 10-5

1.51 x 10-5

Emissions to water

Dissolved matter (unspecified)

1.57 x 10-1

8.87 x 10-3

1.15 x 10-2

Oils

1.87 x 10-3

1.05 x 10-4

1.36 x 10-4

Suspended matter (unspecified)

1.91 x 10-4

1.52 x 10-5

1.97 x 10-5

Chemical oxygen demand (COD)

1.94 x 10-4

9.70 x 10-6

1.26 x 10-5

Emissions of solid waste

Waste (unspecified)

2.15 x 101

3.50 x 100

4.55 x 100

Waste (municipal and industrial)

1.24 x 10-1

1.70 x 10-2

2.20 x 10-2

Waste (hazardous)

3.31 x 10-9

1.23 x 10-10

1.60 x 10-10

associated with coal-fired power production. The values given here are for the study's average plant plus an assumed 30% factor for increased coal consumption. These figures include the impact associated with direct emissions as well as emissions from underground mining activities.

Babbitt and Lindner [12] also evaluated life cycle impacts from coal-fired electricity generation, and identified many of the same issues as Spath et al., although the Babbitt and Lindner report estimated that mining contributed a significantly higher fraction (76%) of total dissolved solids to water than did Spath et al. (less than 5%). Other life cycle studies have been more focused on air emissions and particularly GHG emissions [13, 14], largely with the purpose of enabling direct comparison between CCS and other mitigation alternatives. More recently, Koornneef et al. [15] evaluated the environmental impacts of CCS systems in the Netherlands from the perspective of institutional and procedural aspects of the screening and scoping phases of environmental impact statements and strategic environmental assessments, both of which are required in the Netherlands prior to approval of major projects. Although the study focused on the procedural aspects of CCS projects, it also identified many of the same potential impacts as noted in the earlier studies.

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