Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies - 6th International Conference · 2003

Biomass Energy with Geological Sequestration of CO₂: Two for the Price of One?

James S. Rhodes and David W. Keith

We explore the technical feasibility and economic implications of combining biomass energy systems with carbon capture and sequestration technology, resulting in energy products with negative net atmospheric carbon emissions. This represents an efficient strategy for biomass-based carbon mitigation and a mechanism for offsetting emissions sources elsewhere in the economy, fundamentally changing the role of biomass in achieving deep emissions reductions. We develop crude engineering-economic models of two potential systems based on IGCC and bio-ethanol technologies. The results of these models provide a basis for comparison with more conventional mitigation technologies. This comparison suggests that, depending on biomass feedstock costs, biomass technologies with carbon capture may be competitive with other mitigation options in the electric sector. Regardless of this intra-sector attractiveness, however, emissions offsets generated by biomass energy systems with CO₂ sequestration are likely to be more cost effective than many direct mitigation options outside the electric sector.

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