• Peer-Reviewed
Energy Policy · 2006

Evaluation of potential cost reductions from improved amine-based CO₂ capture systems

Anand B. Rao, Edward S. Rubin, David W. Keith, and M. Granger Morgan

Technological innovations in CO₂ capture and storage technologies are being pursued worldwide under a variety of private and government-sponsored R&D programs. While much of this R&D is directed at novel concepts and potential breakthrough technologies, there are also substantial efforts to improve CO₂ capture technologies already in use. In this paper, we focus on amine-based CO₂ capture systems for power plants and other combustion-based applications. The current performance and cost of such systems have been documented in several recent studies. In this paper we examine the potential for future cost reductions that may result from continued process development. We used the formal methods of expert elicitation to understand what experts in this field believe about possible improvements in some of the key underlying parameters that govern the performance and cost of this technology. A dozen leading experts from North America, Europe and Asia participated in this study, providing their probabilistic judgments via a detailed questionnaire coupled with individual interviews. Judgments about detailed technical parameters were then used in an integrated power plant modeling framework (IECM-CS) developed for USDOE to evaluate the performance and costs of alternative carbon capture and sequestration technologies for fossil-fueled power plants. The experts’ responses have allowed us to build a picture of how the overall performance and cost of amine-based systems might improve over the next decade or two. Results show how much the cost of CO₂ capture could be reduced via targeted R&D in key areas.

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