Construction begins on largest carbon capture project for an existing coal plant to date

Jul 18, 2014 by Bob Yirka report

The U.S. Department of Energy along with NRG Energy and JX Nippon, has announced that construction has begun on a post-combustion carbon capture project in Texas. The project will seek to capture approximately 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from a coal fired power plant, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide that is recovered will be used to help retrieve more oil from a nearby well.

Carbon capture and sequestration has been in the news of late as efforts to use renewable (non carbon releasing) resources to generate electricity have not proven to be financially feasible on a large scale in many areas—for that reason, power companies have begun putting research funds into finding ways to prevent carbon dioxide from being emitted by existing and new .

The new project in Texas, officially called the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project, will use technology that has been developed jointly by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and the Kansai Electric Power. The process involves using chemical solvents called amines to absorb the carbon dioxide from emissions. A secondary process (using steam) then de-couples the carbon dioxide from the amines and sends it via pipe to another facility. The new plant is projected to remove 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide each year from the emissions of a single coal fired plant and is being described as the largest of its kind in the world.

But there is more to the story, the plant that recovers the carbon dioxide will need power itself—the plan is to install a natural gas turbine, which of course will emit carbon dioxide, thus, while the plant will technically remove 90 percent of the carbon dioxide that is emitted by the plant, it will itself emit approximately 785,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year cutting into the net decrease of the overall project. There is also the issue of how the carbon dioxide will be used—it will be injected into the ground beneath a nearby underperforming oil well. The pressure caused by the injection of the carbon dioxide will allow for recovering more oil from the well, which will of course be used as a power source, by burning it, thus releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The injected will remain sequestered in the ground.

The Petra Nova Carbon Capture plant is projected to be operational by 2016.

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User comments : 28

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antigoracle
1.2 / 5 (17) Jul 18, 2014
The stupidity of the AGW Cult knows no bounds.
Waste more energy, producing even more CO2 and effectively doing more harm, all based on the AGW lie.
MR166
1.5 / 5 (15) Jul 18, 2014
It is all part of the master plan to bury western civilization and we deserve it. How can a civilization that hates itself so much survive? We are too ignorant to be free and prosper.
Dr_toad
Jul 18, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.9 / 5 (8) Jul 18, 2014
"But there is more to the story, the plant that recovers the carbon dioxide will need power itself—the plan is to install a natural gas turbine"

-They could always use rossis ecat or mills hydrino reactor. But that would be even sillier.
la7dfa
2.8 / 5 (9) Jul 18, 2014
The US shold focus on building a new generation safer nuclear plants instead.
The coal plants emits much more than just CO2. They pollute the air severely too.
Nuclear power will save millions of people due to clean air.
Dr_toad
Jul 18, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
dogbert
3.1 / 5 (10) Jul 18, 2014
There are two issues with this scheme:

1) Generating 785,000 tones of CO2 to sequester 1.6 million tons of CO2 is insane presuming, of course, that CO2 is harmful. Otherwise, it is even more insane.

2) Forcing 1.6 million tons of CO2 into the earth every year is unnatural, untested and dangerous. What if there is a breach causing a CO2 leak? How many people will be killed?

thermodynamics
4.3 / 5 (7) Jul 18, 2014
"But there is more to the story, the plant that recovers the carbon dioxide will need power itself—the plan is to install a natural gas turbine"

-They could always use rossis ecat or mills hydrino reactor. But that would be even sillier.


Ghost, that is the funniest post I have ever seen from you. I had to give you a five for this one. Keep up the good work. :-)
thermodynamics
4.8 / 5 (6) Jul 18, 2014
There are two issues with this scheme:

1) Generating 785,000 tones of CO2 to sequester 1.6 million tons of CO2 is insane presuming, of course, that CO2 is harmful. Otherwise, it is even more insane.

2) Forcing 1.6 million tons of CO2 into the earth every year is unnatural, untested and dangerous. What if there is a breach causing a CO2 leak? How many people will be killed?


Dogbert: Great post.

First, DOE has analyzed capture methods and the Amines came in last behind oxyfuel and IGCC. However, the amine technology has been used for decades to extract CO2 from natural gas so they go with what they know. There should be some testing of the other methods at smaller scale.

Second, you hit the nail on the head with the idea of sequestering that much CO2 in rock formations. Again, there should be extensive testing. There is some in Europe and plans for some in China but the US can't get going on it. Continued
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jul 18, 2014
Continued in response to Dogbert: There are two problems here.

The first is that if we go forward we should do so with proven technology. Let's say that we go forward and we are wrong about AGW and it is not important. Then we should not have saddled the utility industry with unproven technology.

Or, let's say we are right about AGW and we need the technology for as long as we use fossil fuels. In that case we want the technology being used to be both efficient (to lower operating costs) and durable (to work for the lifetime of a power plant). The fact that we have not been testing technologies for efficiency and durability will come back to haunt us.

Why have we not been testing these technologies? Because the people who don't understand AGW are the ones not allowing congress to fund the testing.

The result will be a serious struggle to get carbon capture and sequestration working right once the need is finally acknowledged. We need testing.
Shootist
1.5 / 5 (8) Jul 18, 2014
gotta love the waste of resources.
holoman
1 / 5 (3) Jul 18, 2014
Carbon Emissions and Sea Water to Cheap hydrogen

http://thomasinst...bly.com/

$ .30 many less then DOE $ 4.00 Kg target.
Dr_toad
Jul 18, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
zorro6204
5 / 5 (3) Jul 19, 2014
Why not just forget the coal plant and burn the gas? Half the CO2 savings are being wasted, they can recover the coal CO2, but not from burning gas? Why does a power plant need a power plant? Whole thing sounds like something that would never have been built without taxpayer dollars being . . . burned. Can we recover the CO2 from that??
Dr_toad
Jul 19, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Newbeak
5 / 5 (3) Jul 19, 2014
Why not just forget the coal plant and burn the gas? Half the CO2 savings are being wasted, they can recover the coal CO2, but not from burning gas? Why does a power plant need a power plant? Whole thing sounds like something that would never have been built without taxpayer dollars being . . . burned. Can we recover the CO2 from that??

Excellent point.The U.S. has huge natural gas resources. It's got to be much cheaper just to convert coal fired plants to burn gas.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2014
Why not just forget the coal plant and burn the gas? Half the CO2 savings are being wasted, they can recover the coal CO2, but not from burning gas? Why does a power plant need a power plant? Whole thing sounds like something that would never have been built without taxpayer dollars being . . . burned. Can we recover the CO2 from that??

Excellent point.The U.S. has huge natural gas resources. It's got to be much cheaper just to convert coal fired plants to burn gas.


Newbeak: Let me explain why this is not as simple as it sounds. Coal fired plants are built with heat exchange zones.

The first is called the Radiant Zone and it is the place where water is boiled to steam (or water is taken above the critical point in temperature for supercritical boilers). The reason phase change takes place in the radiant zone is that radiant heat transfer is used to increase the amount of heat transfer in the zone that requires heat of phase change. Continued
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2014
Continued: The second zone is the convective zone. Less heat is transferred here because less is needed. Phase change is over by this location and this is only heating steam to its superheat temperature.

The third zone is the reheat zone that uses, predominantly convection (there may be some radiant pendents but they are not important to the principle).

Finally, there is the heat recovery zone that uses counterflow to heat incoming air by convection at a relatively low temperature.

These zones are designed not only for a specific amount of heat, but the heat has to be radiant or convective in the zone (that is what the surface area was designed for).

Now comes the fun part. Look at a natural gas flame. It is blue. Those are called "Swan" bands that represent rearrangement of, predominantly. carbon molecular fragments.

Look at a coal flame. It is swirling yellow. Why. Because the particles of coal and ash act as black bodies and radiate.

Continued
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2014
Continued: The coal flame radiates more of its energy than the natural gas flame does at the same temperatures. What that means is that if you put the same amount of chemical energy in the form of coal or natural gas into a boiler designed for coal, the coal boils the right amount of water while the natural gas does not.

The result is that the natural gas furnace has to be derated. This is done, but the cost of electricity goes up when you go this way.

So, it is not just as simple as switching a coal plant to natural gas.
Mike_Massen
5 / 5 (7) Jul 19, 2014
There has never been one AGW denier that has ever been able to explain why adding CO2, a greenhouse gas with known thermal re-radiation properties, won't increase thermal resistivity and thus increase heat in the system..!

Its as if AGW deniers won't and CANNOT face basic summation, why is that ? Is their religious belief humans cannot change climate so obstinately entrenched, have any followed up on the basic physics experiments re CO2 - ever ?

To any and all AGW deniers:-

"What property of CO2 when added to the atmosphere makes it work the opposite way it does in a laboratory ie Instead of retaining heat it acts as an improved conductor ?"
Newbeak
5 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2014
Continued: The coal flame radiates more of its energy than the natural gas flame does at the same temperatures. What that means is that if you put the same amount of chemical energy in the form of coal or natural gas into a boiler designed for coal, the coal boils the right amount of water while the natural gas does not.

The result is that the natural gas furnace has to be derated. This is done, but the cost of electricity goes up when you go this way.

So, it is not just as simple as switching a coal plant to natural gas.

Holy moley! Thanks for that.I had no idea..
Wolf358
5 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2014
I'm concerned about putting CO2 into the ground under pressure. I know it's been done for years to get the last drops out of "empty" wells, but it still seems pretty stupid.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (6) Jul 19, 2014
I'm concerned about putting CO2 into the ground under pressure. I know it's been done for years to get the last drops out of "empty" wells, but it still seems pretty stupid.


Wolf: You make a very good point which is why I think we need more research before we start pumping huge amounts down. An approach I like is to pump the CO2 into ultramafic rock such as some basalts. When the CO2 is injected into the basalt it reacts to produce new rock. Instead of being underground as a gas or in solution it becomes rock quickly and can't escape. The basalts are laid down in layers of permeable rock with impermeable rock over it. Those basalts can be formed of thousands of layers more than a mile thick. If they inject deep into these layers the new rock can produce a stable sequestered matrix. However, it still needs to be tested and we seem to avoid testing.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (6) Jul 20, 2014
So, effectively this plant would be using up half of it's power to capture half of it's CO2. I just these "geniuses" in the AGW Cult, they shall save the world.
MR166
1.7 / 5 (6) Jul 20, 2014
But the top leaders of the cult are really geniuses. They have turned academia into useful idiots for their cause. A few dollars here and a few dollars there go a looong way in academia.

There is a symbiotic relationship between the powerful and and the politicians that they control. The powerful donate to the politician's campaign funds and the politicians create laws that funnel 100x the dollars back to powerful. The laws are crafted to look green and world saving to placate the voters who's freedoms are being usurped and who's pockets are being picked.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Jul 20, 2014
But the top leaders of the cult are really geniuses
@mr166
to whom are you referring? Surely you don't mean the politicians, who could not lead an armed contingent of marines out of a wet paper bag?
ONLY the Anti-agw crowd has a "TOP ECHELON" support or a leadership, as shown here: http://phys.org/n...ate.html

and in this study: http://www.drexel...nge.ashx

Those leaders have a vested interest in making money by undermining the science with commercials (and more) that confuse or misrepresent the ACTUAL SCIENCE- then they get voters (like you?) who are confused about REALITY-

THAT is the ONLY REASON for the disbelief in AGW and Global Warming (or Science period)!

Also, the disparity in the media as shown HERE http://phys.org/n...firstCmt
supports this

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THAT LAST LINK! it is VERY RELEVANT
MR166
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 20, 2014
"ONLY the Anti-agw crowd has a "TOP ECHELON" support or a leadership........"

I must have struck a nerve there Capt.

That statement is ludicrous!
antigoracle
1 / 5 (6) Jul 20, 2014
ONLY the Anti-agw crowd has a "TOP ECHELON" support or a leadership......

Wow!! It must take a lot of practice to be that stupid.
Are you familiar with the jet-setter in the following articles.
http://www.thegua...bromance
http://www.thegua...riticism
He supported the Australian CO2 tax repeal, just so that he could get the CO2 trading scheme, which would make him billions.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (5) Jul 20, 2014
@ the MR166 - antigoracle twins:
THERE IS ONLY SCIENCE.

there is NO leadership that I recognize other than the science. Yall LOVE to claim "gore" this or whomever that... it is irrelevant. WHY? because I don't give a flip about them... there are PEOPLE...

when it comes to AGW... THERE IS THE SCIENCE, and there is the ANTI-AGW crowd, also know as the ANTI-SCIENCE crowd.

I guess I HIT A VERVE WITH YALL with those links I gave you!
(and here I thought antig was illiterate... sorry, she IS illiterate.)

but YOU should have at least LOOKED at them, mr166.
don't let antig drag you down to the stupidity depths.
howhot2
5 / 5 (2) Jul 20, 2014
Well, the AGW deniers will rejoice when they realize, you can just take the CO2 from the stripper and bubble it through massive glass tubes filled with green algae for ever growing generations of biofuel for planes, trains and tractors. The end result is reduces demand for oil and gives the electric power producer and new and vital revenue stream while essentually doubling or tripling the the energy per ton of CO2.

That would certainly be better than the stupid attitude that @Antigoracle takes.

Dr_toad
Jul 20, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
howhot2
5 / 5 (3) Jul 20, 2014
Yeah Dr. Toad, I know it's not zero C02 but it's more of the step down approach. Sequestration would be better approach, but you need to be by a cavern or well that can be filled, and there can't be leaks. But there is no incentive to spend the extra money other than regulation and acknowledging the AGW problem. Two things the deniers hate.

My favorite solution for 90% is Solar PV. I like the idea of a distributed system that involves homeowners and business; If you add up all of the roof-top space of an average city, you get well over 3000kW per dwelling. Typical usage is 30KW/hrs per day. So by all calculations there is a lot of excess, enough for even bad weather. Add in the technological efficiency gains in Solar PV, already approaching 20%, then things really are looking good. (Who knows, it might event protect roofs against AGW hail storms).

A good support system of incentives and laws supportive of the Solar PV industry would help get this off the ground.
holoman
not rated yet Jul 21, 2014
Flue gas is

the gas exiting to the atmosphere via a flue, which is a pipe or channel for conveying exhaust gases from a fireplace, oven, furnace, boiler or steam generator. Quite often, the flue gas refers to the combustion exhaust gas produced at power plants. Its composition depends on what is being burned, but it will usually consist of mostly nitrogen (typically more than two-thirds) derived from the combustion air, carbon dioxide (CO
2), and water vapor as well as excess oxygen (also derived from the combustion air). It further contains a small percentage of a number of pollutants, such as particulate matter (like soot), carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides.[1]