Potential reduction in CO2 levels

Tuesday, 18 April, 2006

Australia could eliminate more than 90 % of the CO2 from convention coal-fired power stations after the CRC for Coal in Sustainable Development (CCSD) signed a memorandum of understanding as a supporting partner to the next stage of the Callide Oxy-fuel project.

The project will be led by CS Energy at their Callide A coal-fired power station operated near Biloela, Queensland and will involve Front-End engineering Design (FEED) and the development of a project Joint Venture Agreement for a 30 MW plant retrofit.

The technology works by blending oxygen with recycled exhaust gases to fire the plant and capturing and liquefying the resulting CO2 for transport and geological storage.

Project leader Chris Spero of CS Energy says that recent results from pilot scale firing trials have identified no significant technical barriers to oxy-firing. "The pilot trials have shown that we have shown that we have successfully identified oxy-firing conditions that reasonably approximate those for air-fired PC boilers. Oxy firing has the added advantage of potentially halving NOx pollution," he adds.

The Callide A power station was selected as the test station for the technology because of the scale and availability of relevant infrastructure and services at the site and its proximity to geological formations where the captured CO2 can be injected for long-term storage.

The oxy-fuel project joint venture will:

  • Demonstrate at 30 MWe scale, the design, operation and control of an oxy-fuel retrofit with integrated O2 production, oxy-firing, and CO2 capture and liquefaction.
  • Provide a test facility to evaluate the performance of different coals, alternative burner designs and operating parameters.
  • Asses the effect of flue gas composition on the performance of the CO2 capture/liquefaction plant.
  • Demonstrate geological storage of CO2 from an oxy-fired pulverised coal boiler.
  • Provide operating and cost data to facilitate the development and deployment of oxy-fuel technology on a large scale for retrofitted and purpose built oxy-fired pulverised coal boilers.

"We're encouraged that, for a very reasonable cost, this demonstration will show that it is possible to capture almost all of the CO2 emitted when coal is burnt to make electricity " without pricing the electricity too high for users. It really put Australia, and Queensland, on the global energy map," says CCSD Chief Executive Frank van Schagen.

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