An overview of technologies and costs of carbon dioxide capture in power generation

There is growing concern about climate change resulting from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Several techniques including efficiency improvements and increased use of renewable energy sources will be needed to limit emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Another technique that can help to reduce emissions substantially is capture and storage of CO2 (CCS). This article will describe the main technologies that can be used to capture CO2 from coal- and gas-fired power plants, including postcombustion capture, precombustion capture, and oxy-combustion. The current status of these technologies, their performance and costs, and possible future developments will be reviewed. The article considers changes in CO2 capture technologies, fuel costs, and plant construction costs that have occurred since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on CCS was written. The article will draw on work carried out by the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme and other leading organizations working in this field. The analysis concentrates on coal-based gasification combined cycle power plants with precombustion capture and pulverized coal combustion plant with postcombustion capture.