Carbon Capture Research for Decarbonising Power and Industrial Plants

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Abstract / Description of output

The UK, EU and Korea all took the pledge to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050. However, the target is so challenging to achieve that it demands drastic changes with our current energy production and consumption system that still relies heavily upon fossil fuels. Along the pathway to net zero emission, CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage) will play a crucial role in curtailing the CO2 emission from the power and industrial plants running with fossil fuels. Moreover CCUS will be of paramount importance even in the long term by complementing weather-dependent renewable generation, functioning as dispatchable generation on demand.
There are a number of carbon capture technologies available for commercial applications. Selecting the best capture process and optimising its process integration with the CO2 emitter through process intensification is just as important as developing and advancing a capture technology itself. BEIS commissioned the research group to carry out techno-economic assessment to find the capture option that would be best suited for decarbonising various chemical and refining processes, e.g. ethylene steam cracker, SMR/ATR/biomass hydrogen plants, ammonia and urea plants, resid FCC, etc. [1]. The carbon capture processes considered for decarbonising the chemical and refining plants were amine absorption, adsorption, oxy-fuel, Ca-looping, etc.
Hydrogen production is expected to grow steadily up to 35% of the total UK energy consumption in 2050. Blue hydrogen is produced by reforming light hydrocarbon gases or gasifying biomass/coals with a carbon capture process integrated in place. Adsorptive capture processes were studied for decarbonising hydrogen plants in the projects funded by EPSRC. A Vacuum Swing Adsorption process in which two VPSA trains were connected in series was designed to capture CO2 from the syngas generated by biomass gasification [2]. Two VPSA processes were designed for capturing CO2 from syngas and tail gas of a SMR hydrogen plant respectively [3]. The two cases were compared to each other in terms of column size, energy consumption and bed productivity. As for pre-combustion capture, a dual-stage Selexol process was designed and simulated using a commercial chemical process flowsheeting program for capturing CO2 from the syngas produced by coal gasification. An advanced chemical process for cogenerating both hydrogen and power from syngas generated from coal gasification was developed in the KETEP-funded international collaboration project [4]. Also the energy consumptions brought about by its integration with an IGCC power plant were estimated at 90% and 95% capture rates as part of the Energy Technologies Institute-funded Next Generation Carbon Capture project [5].


[ 1 ] Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Update of Industrial Carbon Capture Usage and Storage Assumptions Used in BEIS’s Industrial Pathways Model – Chemicals, University of Edinburgh.
[ 2 ] G.D. Oreggioni, S. Brandani, M. Luberti, Y. Baykan, D. Friedrich, H. Ahn*, “CO2 Capture from Syngas by an Adsorption Process at a Biomass Gasification CHP Plant: Its Comparison with Amine-based CO2 Capture,” Int. J. of Greenhouse Gas Control, 35, 71–81, 2015.
[ 3 ] Y. Chen and H. Ahn*, “Feasibility Study of Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption (VPSA) for CO2 Capture from an SMR Hydrogen Plant: Comparison between Synthesis Gas Capture and Tail Gas Capture,” Frontiers in Chemical Engineering, 3:742963, 2021.
[ 4 ] M. Luberti, D. Friedrich, S. Brandani, H. Ahn*, “Design of a H2 PSA for Cogeneration of Ultrapure Hydrogen and Power at an Advanced Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle with Pre-Combustion Capture,” Adsorption, 20(2-3), 511–524, 2014.
[ 5 ] Z. Kapetaki, P. Brandani, S. Brandani, H. Ahn*, “Process Simulation of a Dual-Stage Selexol Process for 95% Carbon Capture Efficiency at an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Power Plant,” Int. J. of Greenhouse Gas Control, 39, 17–26, 2015.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2022
EventEurope-Korea Conference on Science and Technology 2022 - Palais du Pharo, Marseille, France
Duration: 19 Jul 202222 Jul 2022


ConferenceEurope-Korea Conference on Science and Technology 2022
Abbreviated titleEKC 2022
Internet address


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