Organic Rankine Cycle
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Search Completed | Title | The Future of Coal-Based Power Generation
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The Future of Coal-Based Power Generation
James R. Katzer, MIT
The landscape for coal-based power generation is changing rapidly. Coal power-plant construction is on a sharp upturn globally but is facing increasingly stiff opposition because of concern over emissions, particularly carbon dioxide emissions. Pulverized- coal (PC) generation technology has advanced to meet increasing emissions regulations, and CO2 can be captured from PC flue gas for geologic sequestration. Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) offers the potential to reduce emissions significantly further and to also capture CO2 at lower cost. Oxy-fuel combustion offers similar potential for commercial CO2 capture but is not well developed. There is no clear winner today for power generation with CO2 capture. The coal-based technology with CO2 capture appears to be a competitive economic candidate for base-load generation of low-CO2 electricity. Captured, supercritical CO2 can be injected into geologic formations where it will remain safely stored for many centuries. There do not appear to be any irresolvable scientific or technical issues to geologic sequestration of CO2 with safety and efficacy. There also do not appear to be any economic show-stoppers associated with CO2 sequestration.
However, there is still a lot that needs to be done to allow these potentials to become commercial reality at the scale needed. Key issues will be explored.
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