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Moving toward Sustainability--Carbon Reduction Technologies in Industry (Technical Insights)

  • February 2014
  • 53 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 1941679


Table of Contents

Stemming Global Warming

Research Objective and Scope

The objective of this research is to report on the market penetration of carbon reduction technologies, specifically in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the manufacturing industry, and map their technological development until 2025. The research scope is focused on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies applied in industries that will contribute to reducing carbon emission by 2050. CCS is widely established in the oil and gas and chemical industries, but its application in the heavy industries such as steel, aluminum and cement manufacturing, are currently at pilot stage. Organizations, government bodies and private entities worldwide are developing techniques, materials and methods to capture CO2 in high volumes. One of the effective ways to capture CO2 is to integrate or retrofit the carbon capture unit into a new or existing power plant respectively. This report provides technical views and potential opportunities for technology developers and the industry. Briefly, this research service provides:
•A snapshot of advanced carbon reduction technologies, specifically carbon capture, and their capabilities.
•Market impact assessment and analysis of key innovations and technology and business accelerators and challenges in the field of carbon reduction technology.
•An assessment of technology adoption levels by region and by technology and an analysis of end users’ expectations of the technologies.
•An evaluation of emerging opportunities, technology roadmapping and recommendations for technology development and management.
•Some key patents that provide an insight into notable activities and global participants and a detailed list of contacts in the field, which includes names, titles, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail IDs, and Website URLs.

Key Findings

- Newer technologies have emerged from collaborations between different entities such as universities, governments and private organizations due to the political interest in reducing carbon emissions, which have encouraged new innovations.
- Although some of the CCS projects are progressing, the pace is too slow to ensure the technologies’ contribution in climate change mitigation. There are insufficient policies by the government such as providing incentives for retrofitting existing power generation plants. Without sufficient policies to attract private entities, there are difficulties in creating economic or market conditions aligned with the vision to broaden CCS demonstration and deployment.
- CCS technology and deployment should be given equal importance as other clean energy technologies such as renewable energy, and in terms of global climate change policy.
- An emerging trend will be the development of more specialized enzymes and membranes to be utilized for CCS to meet specific and complex needs of the industry such as sequestration of industrial carbon emission and neutralizing CO2 to create commercial byproducts.
- Countries in Asia, particularly China, show an increased interest in developing carbon capture resolutions due to the rapid industrialization, which incur high demands of energy that resulted in power plant expansions.
- Ultra-supercritical technology and integrated gasification combined cycle will still be favorable options in reducing carbon emissions due to increasing demands of global electricity to xx% by 2030, which will lead to additional needs of highly efficient coal-fired power plants.

Carbon Capture and Storage

- Involves capturing streams of CO2 from fuel combustion in power plants or industrial processes and injecting them at high pressure into deep geological formations for pemanent underground storage. Natural analogues from oil and gas indicate that CO2 can remain trapped for millions of years (Metz, 2005).
- Currently, fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries still play dominant roles in our economies. CCS remain a critical solution to reduce greenhouse gas emission. CCS technology can be integrated into all new, large power plant systems to reduce carbon emissions by xx%.
- According to the International Energy Agency, to achieve the vision of G8 leaders to reduce carbon emission by xx% in 2050, the total capture of CO2 must increase from tens megatonnes in 2013 to thousands megatonnes in 2050. Also, a total cumulative mass of approximately 120Gt of CO2 needs to be captured and stored between 2015 and 2050.

7 Key Actions Until 2020 by the International Energy Agency

- In order to drive private financing of CCS projects, financial support mechanisms and early deployment are being introduced.
- Implementation of policies that encourage storage exploration, characterization and development for CCS projects.
- Development of national laws and regulations as well as provisions for multilateral finance that effectively require newly built fossil-fuel power generation to be CCS-ready.
- Prove capture systems at pilot scale in industrial applications where CO2 capture has not yet been demonstrated.
- Significantly increase efforts to improve understanding of CCS technology and the importance of its deployment among the public and stakeholders.
- Introduce incentives to reduce the cost of electricity from power plants equipped with capture through continued technology development and use of highest possible efficiency power generation cycles.
- Encourage efficient development of CO2 transport infrastructure by anticipating locations of future demand centres and future volumes of CO2.

Post-Combustion Capture

- This technique is typically carried out in conventional coal-fired, oil-fired or gas-fired electricity power generation plants. It is also possible to integrate the plants with combined cycle plants such as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) or natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants, where carbon capture is done with chemical absorption of CO2 using amines and chilled ammonia from exhaust flue gases. The technique is widely commercialized in chemical and oil and gas industries.
- Other materials that can be used in this method includes low-degradability amines, non-aqueous solvents, reactive solids such as calcium oxide (CaO), sodium carbonate (NA2CO3) and lithium orthosilicate (Li4SiO4)
- The advantages include easy retrofitting process, suitability for gas-fired plants and non interference with power generation even if the capture stopped, and it does not involve many changes in the basic combustion process. However, this technique may cause approximately 20% loss in plant efficiency and higher capital investment.

Pre-Combustion Capture

- A method in which carbon-based fuel is refined before it enters the combustion chamber in order to produce a gas rich in CO2 and hydrogen (H2), from which the CO2 is separated into carbon monoxide (CO) and the hydrogen (H2) is used as fuel.
- This method involves CO2 capture in a gas turbine of IGCC. In order to apply this technique in an existing coal power plant, the boiler has to be replaced with combustion turbines.
- Reliability, cost and availability are the challenges to be addressed to enable this technique’s wide commercialization. In this technique, the power plants are closely integrated with carbon capture, thus failure in capture may lead to power plant shutdown.
- An advantage is that the costs involved are lower compared to post-combustion capture.

Oxy-Fuel Combustion

- Combustion is carried out by using pure oxygen instead of air, which consists mainly of nitrogen and oxygen. The oxygen that is used is nearly xx% pure.
- The oxy-fuel combustion product consists of water vapor and CO2, thus making the separation easier.
- A condenser is used in the process to remove the water vapor to obtain a pure stream of CO2 gas.

Other techniques

- Chemical looping–An advanced method of oxy-combustion where an oxygen carrier, typically metal oxide, is used to carry oxygen from the air to the fuel. This is to remove direct contact between the combustion air and fuel. The products, CO2 and H2O, are kept away from other flue gases.
- Membranes–In pre-combustion capture, membranes of permeable nature selective to hydrogen (H2) or CO2 gas are used. Partial pressure difference is used as the driving force. This differs from post-combustion capture, where permeable as well as semipermeable membranes are used and gas separation is done by some physical or chemical interaction.
- Customized solvents–Solvents catering to CO2 capture should possess certain physical properties such as low vapor pressure, high thermal stability, nonflammability and nontoxicity.
- Ionic liquids–These are used for the post-combustion process. Ionic liquids eliminate the use of water. Since they have organic cations and inorganic anions, a variation of possibilities for different structures is possible.

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