Gasification based CCS challenges and opportunities for China

CCS is a R&D priority for China, covering all capture options, transport and storage. With regard to progression beyond research, there are some very significant large industrial scale trials that are being funded and implemented by various Chinese power generation, coal and oil companies. From a technical perspective, China is well positioned to move forward from these trials towards demonstrations of various CO2 capture and utilisation/storage options. While the primary focus will be on the power sector, the prospect of establishing CCS on coal to chemicals gasification units in certain regions of China offers the prospect of some early opportunities for demonstration. The attraction of demonstrating CCS on such gasifiers is that the results would be applicable to the overall development of the technology for many coal using sectors, and projects could be undertaken at significantly lower costs compared to operations on a coal fired power plant. This is because the CO2 is already produced as a concentrated stream and so the CCS marginal costs are essentially those of CO2 compression, transport and injection. Depending on the size and number of gasifiers in operation, the annual quantity of CO2 released at a site ranges from about 0.5 Mt to well over 2 Mt. Equally importantly, many of these individual gasification projects are located quite close to one another within industrial zones. This offers the prospect of establishing a CCS network, which would comprise a shared or interconnected system for transporting CO2 from multiple capture sources to one or more underground injection sites. Such networks should offer economies of scale and hence lower overall transport and (potentially lower) storage costs compared to an unintegrated single-source-single-storage project. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.