425306 Techno-Economic Analysis of Gas Purification for CO2 Transport in Pipeline Networks and Injection for Storage

Tuesday, November 10, 2015: 10:35 AM
250E (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Clea Kolster, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom, Evgenia Mechleri, Centre for Process System Engineering, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom, Sam Krevor, Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA and Niall Mac Dowell, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom

Techno-economic analysis of gas purification for CO2 transport in pipeline networks and injection for storage

Clea Kolster*1,2 , Evgenia Mechleri1,2, Sam Krevor3, Niall Mac Dowell1,2

*Presenting author’s e-mail: clea.kolster10@imperial.ac.uk

1 Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, SW7 1NA, UK

2 Centre for Process Systems Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, SW7 2AZ, UK

3 Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, SW7 2AZ, UK


The IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2014 stated that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a crucial component in capping the world’s average surface temperature increase by 2 °C (IPCC, 2014) and, if applied to the power generation and heavy industry sectors, could reduce cumulative emissions by 14% in 2050 (IEA, 2014). In addition, when considering the decarbonisation of the heavy industry sector, CCS is currently the only available option. Therefore, it is imperative that the CCS process be optimised to run smoothly through each stage of operation and that its costs be minimised in order to accelerate its global financial and political acceptance. In view of these issues, this paper focuses on the operational modelling of a CO2 capture process, modelling and quantifying the economic benefits resulting from a CO2 transport network system and the cost reduction ensuing from COcapture plant clusters.

Oxy-combustion capture comprises of two energy intensive sections: the air separation unit (ASU) and the CO2 purification and compression unit (CO2CPU). The CO2CPU brings the raw flue gas from a low purity atmospheric CO2 stream to a high purity, high pressure CO2 stream suitable for transport. So far little has been discussed regarding the optimal design and operation of the CO2CPU (Boot-Handford et al., 2014). This work focused on minimising the capital and operational costs involved in the CO2CPU while prioritising an EOR suitable end product. Three CO2 compression and purification units processing flue gas from a pulverised fuel oxy-combustion plant were modelled in Aspen HYSYS. These CO2CPU models build on similar separation processes presented by Posch et al. (Posch & Haider, 2012) and Pipitone et al. (Pipitone & Bolland, 2009).

It was established that, as the CO2CPU models increased in complexity and purity of the produced COstream, they increased in operational and capital costs but decreased in capture efficiency i.e. increase the amount of CO2 vented to the atmosphere. The capital and operational costs for each process model were translated into a price for each stream of CO2 marketed for EOR. A non-monotonic and non-linear relationship between CO2 price and CO2 purity was observed. A CO2-EOR suitable product stream, requiring a very high purity, led to a price of £20 per tonne, while the least complex system provides a stream that is suitable for transport, but not for injection, at a price of £11 per tonne.

In addition, this paper discusses the possibility of having one CO2 capture plant for a cluster of power and/or industrial plants as opposed to several smaller capture plants. Modelled in Aspen HYSYS, it was found that instead of having 4 CO2CPUs with a 5 Mt.CO2 yearly capacity, having one large CO2CPU with a yearly capacity of 20Mt.COreduces capital expenditure by 16% and yearly operational expenditure by 4%.

As CCS is deployed on a large scale, we will deploy transport networks, as opposed to a large number of single point-source to sink links. It is therefore vital to understand how these complex networks will behave, and indeed contribute to the flexibility of these systems. Therefore, a second part of this work considers a hypothetical UK-based network of CO2 sources connecting to a single sink in the North Sea (Prada, Konda, & Shah, 2010). The CO2 sources considered include combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants, coal fired power plants and industrial plants. The CO2 transport network allows for high purity sources of CO2 derived from post-combustion capture power plants to be combined with less expensive, lower purity sources of CO2 using oxy-combustion capture, to produce a CO2 stream which is suitable for injection, i.e., a CO2 stream composed of >96 wt.% CO2. This led to a 19% reduction in the price of CO2.


Boot-Handford, M. E., Abanades, J. C., Anthony, E. J., Blunt, M. J., Brandani, S., Mac Dowell, N., … Fennell, P. S. (2014). Carbon capture and storage update. Energy & Environmental Science, 7(1), 130. 

IEA. (2014). Energy Technology Perspectives 2014. http://doi.org/10.1787/energy_tech-2010-en

IPCC. (2014). Working Group 3 - Technical Summary 2.

Pipitone, G., & Bolland, O. (2009). Power generation with CO2 capture: Technology for CO2 purification. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 3(5), 528–534. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2009.03.001

Posch, S., & Haider, M. (2012). Optimization of CO2 compression and purification units (CO2CPU) for CCS power plants. Fuel, 101, 254–263. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2011.07.039

Prada, P., Konda, M., & Shah, N. (2010). Development of an Integrated CO2 Capture, transportation and Storage Infrastructure for the UK and North Sea using an Optimisation Framework.

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