Selective exhaust gas recirculation in combined cycle gas turbine power plants with post-combustion CO2 capture

In the context of the process intensification of Post-combustion Carbon Capture (PCC), Selective Exhaust Gas Recirculation (SEGR) in Natural Gas-fired Combined Cycle (NGCC) plants, a concept where CO2 is selectively recycled to increase concentration and reduce flow rates of the flue gas, is analysed. SEGR operated either in parallel or in series with a downstream PCC system increases CO2 concentration beyond 14 vol% and maintains oxygen levels in the combustor to approximately 19 vol%, well above the 16 vol% limit reported for non-selective Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). Process modelling shows that the current class of gas turbine engines can operate without a significant deviation in the compressor and in the turbine performance. Compressor inlet temperature and CO2concentration in the working fluid are the two critical parameters affecting the gas turbine net power output and efficiency. A higher turbine exhaust temperature allows the generation of additional steam in the HRSG. This results in an increase in net power output of approximately 42 MW (5.2%) and 18 MW (2.3%), and in net thermal efficiency of 0.55%point and 0.83%point, for the investigated configurations with SEGR in parallel and SEGR in series, respectively. With 30 wt% aqueous monoethanolamine scrubbing technology, SEGR leads to operation and cost benefits. SEGR in parallel with 70% recirculation, 97% selective CO2 transfer efficiency and 96% PCC efficiency results in a reduction of 46% in packing volume and 5% in specific reboiler duty, compared to air-based combustion CCGT with PCC, and of 10% in packing volume and 2% in specific reboiler duty, compared to 35% EGR. SEGR in series operating at 95% selective CO2 transfer efficiency and 32% PCC efficiency results in a reduction of 64% in packing volume and 7% in specific reboiler duty, compared to air-based CCGT with PCC, and of 40% in packing volume and 4% in specific reboiler duty, compared to 35% EGR. On selecting a technology for SEGR applications, CO2selectivity, pressure drop and heat transfer flow rate are the operating parameters with a larger effect on the power plant performance with SEGR. It is important to minimise oxygen leakages from the air into the flue gas, minimise heat transfer that would otherwise increase CO2-enriched air temperature at compressor inlet, and minimise pressure drop, e.g. a 1 kPa pressure drop results in gas turbine derating of 2 MW (0.7%).