Retrofitting CO2 capture ready fossil plants with post-combustion capture. Part 1: requirements for supercritical pulverized coal plants using solvent-based flue gas scrubbing

Rapid global deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) requires a two-track approach. CCS needs to be deployed at scale as quickly as possible and other plants, if built without CCS, need to be built CO2 capture ready (CCR) before they are retrofitted. In particular, coal plants are likely to continue to be built in large numbers in developing countries. CCS is not an immediate option for all or most of these plants, but it would be feasible to make large numbers of them CCR for subsequent retrofit of flue gas scrubbing systems for post-combustion capture. This article will examine options for CCR steam turbines for such plants, showing that effective thermodynamic integration with the capture equipment can be achieved for minimal additional cost. The performance will be compared with the retrofit of non-CCR steam turbine configurations. Finally, the uncertainty of CCS development will be discussed and the performance of the CCR steam turbine options proposed will be assessed for a range of future possible CO2 scrubbing solvents that are less energy intensive than the original design case using current solvents.