New IEAGHG Technical Report: 2019-09 ‘Further Assessment of Emerging CO2 Capture Technologies for the Power Sector and their Potential to Reduce Costs’


By Monica Garcia

2 October 2019

New Carbon Capture technologies are emerging and these must be techno-economically compared with well-established systems used for the power sector. IEAGHG identified the need of a comprehensive assessment of emerging CO2 capture technologies for this sector, and an evaluation of their potential to reduce costs. The objectives of this technical study were:

  • to update the CO2 capture benchmark technology and its enhancement over the adopted 30w.t.% MEA (Monoethanolamine) -based chemical absorption technology currently used.
  • to review the CO2 capture technologies used in the power sector, their current status and trajectory
  • to assess the potential of emerging CO2 capture systems to reduce the Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE); and identify risks and barriers on the path of different technologies to reaching TRL 9 (full commercial operation).
  • to assess techno-economically a number of selected CO2 capture technologies for coal and gas-fired power plants.
  • The techno-economic review covered Ca-looping, membrane-system (MTR Polaris), Allam cycle, and chemical absorption (using 30w.t.% MEA (Monoethanolamine) and 40w.t.% PZ (Piperazine) + AMP (2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol) solution) for gas-fired power plants, and Ca-looping, membrane-system (MTR Polaris), solid sorbent-system (Veloxotherm), liquid-liquid separating system (DMX), and chemical absorption (using 30w.t.% MEA and 40w.t.% PZ+AMP) for coal-fired power plants.Coal-fired and gas-fired power plants without CO2 capture systems were assessed for comparison.

The following key messages are evident from this study:

  • A (PZ + AMP) solution (40w.t.%, 1:2 Molar ratio) is proposed as the new benchmark.
  • The new benchmark solution (PZ+AMP) shows a CO2 avoidance cost reduction of 22% for coal-fired, and 15% for gas-fired power plants, compared to a 30w.t.% MEA-based system.The reboiler heat duty (heat energy required to regenerate the solvent) of the new benchmark is similar to that of current commercial blends.
  • Chemical absorption is still leading the list of emerging CO2 capture technologies as it has reached TRL 9 compared to the lower TRLs of other technologies.
  • This study has investigated the progress of several post-combustion systems and shown further technological development is possible. Moreover, oxyfuel turbines are expected to advance in the near future.
  • Front-end engineering design (FEED) research studies show that there is significant potential to reduce the LCOE in electrochemical separation (fuel-cells). An estimated 30% reduction in the LCOE has been predicted but this claim requires confirmation through large-scale demonstration projects.
  • Other capture systems with medium LCOE reduction potential (10%-30%) are based on chemical absorption with water-lean, precipitating or catalysed sorbents, membrane separation, PSA (pressure-swing adsorption), TSA (temperature-swing adsorption), calcium looping (Ca-looping), and cooling and liquefaction. Moreover, pressurized oxyfuel combustion, chemical-looping combustion and SEWGS (sorption-enhanced water-gas shift) are also expected to show some LCOE reduction (<10%).
  • The techno-economic assessment shows the impact of regional, financial and economic conditions on the LCOE obtained by the different CO2 capture technologies applied to gas-fired and coal-fired power plants.
  • For coal-fired power plants, the new benchmark solution (40w.t.% PZ + AMP) shows the lowest LCOE, while the Allam cycle would be, economically, the most favourable option for gas-fired power plants. However, in both gas and coal-fired power plants the other CO2 capture alternatives could be more favourable under specific financial and economic conditions.
  • Based on the results from this study, it is recommended that the most promising technologies should be followed-up, and more detailed cost evaluation studies pursued, together with an evaluation of their extended value within electricity supply, grid distribution and broader decarbonisation goals.

This report​ is free for member countries. Please email to request a copy.

Other articles you might be interested in

Get the latest CCS news and insights

Get essential news and updates from the CCS sector and the IEAGHG by email.

"*" indicates required fields

Can’t find what you are looking for?

Whatever you would like to know, our dedicated team of experts is here to help you. Just drop us an email and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Contact Us Now