Pre-combustion Capture

Pre-combustion capture, typically operated with Integrated Gasification Combined Cycles (IGCC), involves gasification and partial oxidisation of the fuel to produce CO2 and hydrogen which are then separated, commonly using physical absorption processes. The hydrogen is then combusted in a modified gas turbine or fuel cell producing power and water. This method has been demonstrated at the megaton-per-year scale but it has not been fitted to an operational power plant. Advantages for pre-combustion are that multiple fuels can be used and the hydrogen produced can be utilised as a transportable fuel or product. There are potential increased efficiency gains from improved integration of the technology into power plants. Disadvantages include high construction costs, reliability of all components for efficient integration and decreased short-term flexibility. Further development of high-temperature membranes may allow syngas to be reformed into CO2 as hydrogen is separated. The FutureGen project is looking to build and demonstrate this capture technology in Illinois, USA, using a 275-MW capacity power plant.