CCS – Climate-Friendly Power Plant Technology

March 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Design and Tech

By Siemens

Power supply over the next few decades will be marked by a balanced mix of centralized and decentralized power plants, and of power taken from all available resources. Efficient and innovative technologies will become more important than ever for climate-compatible electricity generation.

Increasing importance of CCS Technologies for carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) in coal-fired power plants will provide a crucial bridging solution, enabling substantial reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from coalfired power plants.

Up to 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions produced in the combustion process can be reduced with this technology. CCS describes the chain of processes whereby carbon dioxide is sequestered from the power plant process before or after combustion, compressed, and then stored in geological formations.

Siemens is developing two technologies in the area of clean coal electrification for existing and new power plants. The first, for existing steam power plants and new plants, is the scrubbing and capture of carbon dioxide after combustion.

The other technology, carbon dioxide capture before combustion, is used for new IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) plants. These are combined cycle power plants with integrated coal gasification and upstream carbon dioxide capture. Having acquired the coal gasification business of the Swiss Sustec Group, Siemens can offer the GSP entrained-flow gasification process, which forms a central element of climate-friendly IGCC power plants.

CCS

Siemens technologies are also used for carbon dioxide transport and subsequent storage. Compressors supply the necessary pressure in the pipelines, and the pressure required for forcing the carbon dioxide deep underground. Here again, efficiency is called for, to minimize line losses.

State of the art

The various processes for carbon dioxide capture are presently being developed and tested. From today’s technological viewpoint, flue gas scrubbing is the main process available as a retrofit for existing power plants (if these plants are capture ready).

However, to enable CCS technology to be used on a large scale, a reliable political and regulatory framework must first be put in place for implementing CCS and for constructing CCS demonstration plants to verify environmental compatibility and economic viability. If this succeeds, the zero-carbon-dioxide coal-fired power plant will be able to play an important role in delivering climate-friendly and reliable energy from 2020 onward.

This article and image is contributed by Siemens Pte Ltd.

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