Partial capture from refineries through utilization of existing site energy systems
12 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2021
Date Written: March 15, 2021
Many studies indicate that carbon capture and storage operations need to be ramped up in the coming decades to limit global warming to well-below 2°C. Partial CO2 capture from carbon-intensive industrial processes is a promising starting point for initial CO2 transport and storage infrastructure projects, such as the Norwegian full-chain CCS project “Northern Lights”, since specific capture cost (€/t CO2) for single-stack capture can be kept low compared to full capture from all, often less suitable stacks. This work highlights the importance of utilizing existing site energy systems to avoid significant increase in marginal abatement cost when moving from partial to full capture. A systematic and comprehensive techno-economic approach is applied that identifies a mix of heat supply sources with minimum cost based on a detailed analysis of available heat and capacity within the existing site energy system. Time-dependent variations are considered via multi-period, linear optimization. For single-stack capture from the hydrogen production unit (~0.5 Mt CO2 p.a.) of a Swedish refinery in the context of the current energy system, we find avoidance cost for the capture plant (liquefaction, ship transport, and storage excluded)of 42 €/t CO2-avoided that is predominantly driven by steam raised from available process heat in existing coolers (~6 €/t steam). For full capture from all major stacks (~1.4 Mt CO2 p.a.), the avoidance cost becomes twice as high (86 €/t CO2-avoided) due to heat supply from available heat and existing boiler capacity (combustion of natural gas) at costs of ~20€/t steam. The analysis shows that very few investments in new steam capacity are required, and thus, that the utilization of existing site energy systems is important for lowering capture cost significantly, and thus the whole-chain cost for early CCS projects.
Keywords: partial capture, refinery, Northern Lights, heat integration, multiperiod optimization, marginal abatement cost, MEA
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