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Killinghome and Kingsnorth CCS projects PDF Print E-mail
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CCS is a process that allows carbon dioxide (CO2) to be captured from power stations to prevent it from entering the Earth's atmosphere. It's a technology that is developing all the time and could well make fossil-fuelled generation a viable low-carbon option for the future.

The UK Government is holding a competition to build a CCS plant on an industrial scale with the aim of demonstrating the capture, transportation and storage of carbon dioxide from a power plant.Eon one of the largest Utility companies in the world has plans to develop the technology at two coal fired power plants in the UK Firstly Killinghome and followed by Kingsnorth are the main projects which will set the standards for the industries future. The process involved has been developed amongst a whole raft of protests so success is crucial.The first step involves stripping out the carbon dioxide from the other gases produced in the power generation process. It is important that the CO2 stream that goes away for storage is as pure as possible.
There are currently three techniques for capturing carbon dioxide:

1. Post-Combustion

Post combustion capture is designed to capture the carbon dioxide after the fossil fuel has been burned but before it is released into the atmosphere. The most common way to do this is to use chemicals, generally amines, to get the stream of virtually pure carbon dioxide that can then be transported and stored.

The main advantages to this technology are that it can be retrofitted to existing power stations and that it is already in use in a wide range of processes around the world.

However, it also has its disadvantages, notably that it reduces both the efficiency and the output of the power station because of the amount of steam and power required to run the systems.

2. Pre-Combustion

The main concept behind pre-combustion capture is to capture the carbon dioxide before you burn the coal. This leads to a situation whereby a coal-fired power station is actually run on gas – hydrogen.

This method is more usually called Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC).

The major factor in favour of IGCCs is that the carbon dioxide is at a very high concentration and under pressure, making it much easier to capture. The downside to this technology is that it cannot be retrofitted to existing power stations.

3. Oxyfuel Combustion

Simply put, oxyfuel involves burning coal with an oxygen-rich gas rather than in air, which leads to a flue gas that consists largely of carbon dioxide and water.

The great advantage of oxyfuel is that a capture rate of 97% is possible, together with a purity of 99.9%. However, firing in oxygen produces very high temperatures and oxyfuel power stations are much less efficient than traditional air-fired plants, although there are a number of pilot projects in existence.


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