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Techno-economic evaluation of coal-to-liquids (CTL) plants with carbon capture and sequestration

Mantripragada, Hari Chandan, Rubin, Edward S.
Energy policy 2011 v.39 no.5 pp. 2808-2816
carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, case studies, climate, coal, electricity, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, issues and policy, models, oils, prices, uncertainty
Coal-to-liquids (CTL) processes that generate synthetic liquid fuels from coal are of increasing interest in light of the substantial rise in world oil prices in recent years. A major concern, however, is the large emissions of CO₂ from the process, which would add to the burden of atmospheric greenhouse gases. To assess the options, impacts and costs of controlling CO₂ emissions from a CTL plant, a comprehensive techno-economic assessment model of CTL plants has been developed, capable of incorporating technology options for carbon capture and storage (CCS). The model was used to study the performance and cost of a liquids-only plant as well as a co-production plant, which produces both liquids and electricity. The effect of uncertainty and variability of key parameters on the cost of liquids production was quantified, as were the effects of alternative carbon constraints such as choice of CCS technology and the effective price (or tax) on CO₂ emissions imposed by a climate regulatory policy. The efficiency and CO₂ emissions from a co-production plant also were compared to the separate production of liquid fuels and electricity. The results for a 50,000 barrels/day case study plant are presented.