, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 196-206
Date: 22 Oct 2009

Techno-economic assessment of pulverized coal boilers and IGCC power plants with CO2 capture

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The current studies on power plant technologies suggest that Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) systems are an effective and economic CO2 capture technology pathway. In addition, the system in conventional configuration has the advantage of being more “CO2 capture ready” than other technologies. Pulverized coal boilers (PC) have, however, proven high technical performance attributes and are economically often most practical technologies. To highlight the pros and cons of both technologies in connection with an integrated CO2 capture, a comparative analysis of ultrasupercritical PC and IGCC is carried out in this paper. The technical design, the mass and energy balance and the system optimizations are implemented by using the ECLIPSE chemical plant simulation software package. Built upon these technologies, the CO2 capture facilities are incorporated within the system. The most appropriate CO2 capture systems for the PC system selected for this work are the oxy-fuel system and the postcombustion scheme using Monoethanolamine solvent scrubber column (MEA). The IGCC systems are designed in two configurations: Water gas shift reactor and Selexol-based separation. Both options generate CO2-rich and hydrogen rich-gas streams. Following the comparative analysis of the technical performance attributes of the above cycles, the economic assessment is carried out using the economic toolbox of ECLIPSE is seamlessly connected to the results of the mass and energy balance as well as the utility usages. The total cost assessment is implemented according to the step-count exponential costing method using the dominant factors and/or a combination of parameters. Subsequently, based on a set of assumptions, the net present value estimation is implemented to calculate the breakeven electricity selling prices and the CO2 avoidance cost.