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Keywords:

  • CO2 capture;
  • postcombustion;
  • precombustion;
  • oxy-fuel combustion;
  • biomass;
  • techno-economic

A techno-economic assessment of options for large scale combustion based power generation in the United Kingdom is presented. Three of the main technologies for large-scale power generation are examined: Pulverised Fuel (PF), Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), and Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC), with and without CO2 capture. The effect of three different CO2 capture technologies is studied: Post-Combustion Capture (PCC) is applied to PF and NGCC plants, Oxyfuel Combustion Capture (OCC) is applied to PF plants, while precombustion capture is for IGCC. Different suboptions for PCC are applied to PF and NGCC plants, namely: amine scrubbing, ammonia scrubbing and membrane physical absorption, with the latter technology applied only to PF plants. Alternatives to coal are studied by using mixtures of 75% coal and 25% biomass by weight in PF and IGCC plants. Fifteen combustion technology, fuel and CO2 capture combinations are tested, including five base cases without CO2 capture with different combustion technologies and fuels, four PF-PCC cases with different solid fuels and capture suboptions, 2 PF-OCC cases with different solid fuels, two NGCC-PCC cases with different capture suboptions, and two IGCC cases with precombustion capture and different solid fuels. The Integrated Environmental Control Model (IECM) for calculating the performance, emission and cost of fossil-fuelled power plants is used to perform the techno-economic comparison. The results highlight the economic preference for PCC. NGCC is the most efficient and economically attractive choice and although IGCC plants are more expensive than PF plants, the introduction of CO2 capture makes IGCC competitive. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 33: 1425–1431, 2014