Integration of chemical looping combustion for cost-effective CO2 capture from state-of-the-art natural gas combined cycles
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEnergy Conversion and Management: X. 2020, 7 1-14. 10.1016/j.ecmx.2020.100044
Chemical looping combustion (CLC) is a promising method for power production with integrated CO2 capture with almost no direct energy penalty. When integrated into a natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plant, however, CLC imposes a large indirect energy penalty because the maximum achievable reactor temperature is far below the firing temperature of state-of-the-art gas turbines. This study presents a techno-economic assessment of a CLC plant that circumvents this limitation via an added combustor after the CLC reactors. Without the added combustor, the energy penalty amounts to 11.4%-points, causing a high CO2 avoidance cost of $117.3/ton, which is more expensive than a conventional NGCC plant with post-combustion capture ($93.8/ton) with an energy penalty of 8.1%-points. This conventional CLC plant would also require a custom gas turbine. With an added combustor fired by natural gas, a standard gas turbine can be deployed, and CO2 avoidance costs are reduced to $60.3/ton, mainly due to a reduction in the energy penalty to only 1.4%-points. However, due to the added natural gas combustion after the CLC reactor, CO2 avoidance is only 52.4%. Achieving high CO2 avoidance requires firing with clean hydrogen instead, increasing the CO2 avoidance cost to $96.3/ton when a hydrogen cost of $15.5/GJ is assumed. Advanced heat integration could reduce the CO2 avoidance cost to $90.3/ton by lowering the energy penalty to only 0.6%-points. An attractive alternative is, therefore, to construct the plant for added firing with natural gas and retrofit the added combustor for hydrogen firing when CO2 prices reach very high levels.