Life cycle modelling of fossil fuel power generation with post combustion CO2 capture

Due to its compatibility with the current energy infrastructures and the potential to reduce CO2 emissions significantly, CO2 capture and geological storage is recognised as one of the main options in the portfolio of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation technologies being developed worldwide. The CO2 capture technologies offer a number of alternatives, which involve different energy consumption rates and subsequent environmental impacts. Life cycle assessment (LCA) not only tracks energy and non-energy related GHG releases but also tracks various other environmental releases, such as solid wastes, toxic substances and common air pollutants, as well as the consumption of other resources, such water, minerals and land use. This paper presents the principles of the LCA model developed at Imperial College and uses the post combustion capture example to demonstrate the methodology in detail.