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Advancing CO2 Capture from Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plants with Piperazine Scrubbing

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Carbon dioxide capture and storage is widely recognized as an essential technology for limiting the global temperature rise to 2 °C by the end of the century. Technology development efforts so far focus on coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources with relatively high CO2 partial pressures. However, natural gas is increasingly used in power generation because of its abundance and low greenhouse gas impacts among the fossil fuels. For deep decarbonization that is required in the future, fossil fuels with CCS continue to play a relevant role in scenarios that balance cost of energy with climate impacts. Carbon capture from natural gas sources has been an ongoing interest to CO2 Capture Project (CCP) and its members from the oil and gas industry. This paper describes the work related to solvent-based natural gas carbon capture sponsored by CCP and pilot studies performed in collaboration with University of Texas at Austin researchers. The collaboration with University of Texas at Austin (UT) is aimed at demonstrating the application of an aqueous piperazine solution-a second-generation solvent-in a pilot plant. The goal is to test CO2 separation from synthetic flue gas representative of the exhausts from natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant (i.e. ~4 mol CO2). The low CO2 concentration in NGCC flue gas is considered to be a challenge for many capture technologies. This work tested the performance of 5m piperazine in the UT pilot plant at a range of operating conditions, including solvent loadings, gas and liquid flow rates, assessing two different absorber configurations. High CO2 capture rates above 90 were confirmed. The pilot test results were used to verify and extend the range of applicability of the thermodynamic model developed by UT. This work increases the confidence for the application of the process models to design CCS processes for low CO2 concentrations. The model’s predictions of the pilot plant tests at low concentrations are now as accurate and reliable as those for higher CO2 concentrations where much of the data have been collected until now. Further pilot tests at NCCC are being designed to supplement the model evaluation data set for NGCC flue gas as well as to address questions related to oxidation corrosion and cooling scheme optimization for NGCC applications.

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