Carbon dioxide capture in molten carbonate fuel cell power plants fueled with coal and natural gas

This paper summarizes an IEA sponsored study whose purpose was to assess fuel cell power generation configurations that could be adopted if climate change considerations lead to a need to reduce emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere. The study provided a comparison of performance, CO2 emission, capital cost, cost of electricity, and cost of avoiding CO2 emission among four atmospheric, or near atmospheric, molten carbonate fuel cell/CO2 capturing plants (fueled with either coal or natural gas). Each fuel cell combined cycle plant with CO2 capture was compared with a similarly-sized reference combined cycle plant without CO2 capture to develop comparison characteristics. Data for the reference plants were taken from previously completed IEA studies. The first reference plant was a coal-fueled integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC).(1) This plant features an oxygen-blown, entrained-bed gasifier providing fuel gas to a commercially available gas turbine. Waste heat is recovered and utilized in a steam turbine bottoming cycle. The second reference plant was a typical natural gas-fueled gas turbine combined cycle.(2).