Carbon capture and storage technology is an essential component of strategies to meet global greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to limit climate change. Fossil fuel power generation is responsible for an estimated 26% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and the use of fossil fuels will continue to grow with the world's increasing demand for electricity (IEA forecast 60% growth in absolute usage by 2030).
CO2 capture is a common absorption process in petroleum refining and petrochemical processing, but existing technology is not economically feasible for carbon capture from power generators.
The equipment required has both a high capital cost and a large real estate footprint that can limit the ability to retrofit existing power plants.
The liquid solvents used in industrial absorption of CO2 have a large energy requirement for regeneration, which becomes a significant operating cost of a carbon capture system.
WES Absorber technology enables cost effective carbon capture from fossil fuel power generators.
The improved mass transfer efficiency of WES Absorber technology results in significantly reduced equipment capital cost and size requirements relative to existing packed tower or bubble tray absorbers.
It also enables substantial reductions in equipment requirements and energy usage for solvent regeneration.
WES TECHNOLOGY MARKET APPLICATIONS
- Post-Combustion CO2 Capture from Fossil Fuel Power Generation
- Pre-combustion CO2 Capture in Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Power Generation
- The potential global CCS market is vast, with annual global CO2 emissions currently at over 14 billion tons across 17 emitting sectors. The market will grow quickly because of demand created by government regulations.
- The EU has already mandated a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (relative to 1990 levels) and is evaluating plans to meet more aggressive reduction targets of 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2050.
- In the USA, the EPA mandated monitoring and reporting in 2010 for about 10,000 stationary emitters responsible for 85% of the nation's emissions. Regliatory requirements for greenhouse gas emissions including CO2 will be implemented in 2011 unless alternative regliation targets are legislated in the Climate and Energy bill currently under debate.
- Initial implementation of carbon capture technology will be in the power generation, oil and gas production and refinery industries since they represent the majority of stationary CO2 emissions. There will be mlitiple pilot-scale technology and commercial-scale demonstrations for each industry during the next 8 years, and commercial implementation is expected to begin in 5 to 10 years. There are currently over 30 active CCS demonstration projects around the world and most are public-private partnerships. In the USA, the Department of Energy has helped fund CCS projects with $500 million in 2008 and $700 million in 2009, as well as an additional $3.4 billion in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Solvent-based CO2 absorption offers arguably the best opportunity for commercialization of CCS in the near term and there are a number of new absorption solvents currently in development that address the shortcomings of existing industrial absorption solvents. However, additional improvements in absorber efficiency, solvent loading capability and energy demand for regeneration are required if solvent-based CCS is to achieve commercial success. WES Absorber technology offers significant advancement in all three of these areas by reducing the absorber height by 50% and the size of the solvent regeneration system by 30%. The reduction in size leads to a dramatically lower solvent inventory and flow rate, delivering significant reductions in CAPEX and OPEX of the required solvent regeneration system.
WES Absorber technology offers significant advancement in all three of these areas by reducing the absorber height by 50% and the size of the solvent regeneration system by 30%. The reduction in size leads to a dramatically lower solvent inventory and flow rate, delivering a 30% reduction in CAPEX and OPEX of the required solvent regeneration system. This reduction in plant size will also equate to a reduction in CCS plant CAPEX of approximately 20%.