Life cycle GHG assessment of fossil fuel power plants with carbon capture and storage

The evaluation of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from power generation with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a critical factor in energy and policy analysis. The current paper examines life cycle emissions from three types of fossil-fuel-based power plants, namely supercritical pulverized coal (super-PC), natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) and integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), with and without CCS. Results show that, for a 90% CO2 capture efficiency, life cycle GHG emissions are reduced by 75–84% depending on what technology is used. With GHG emissions less than 170 g/kWh, IGCC technology is found to be favorable to NGCC with CCS. Sensitivity analysis reveals that, for coal power plants, varying the CO2 capture efficiency and the coal transport distance has a more pronounced effect on life cycle GHG emissions than changing the length of CO2 transport pipeline. Finally, it is concluded from the current study that while the global warming potential is reduced when MEA-based CO2 capture is employed, the increase in other air pollutants such as NOx and NH3 leads to higher eutrophication and acidification potentials.