Recent study on carbon capture potential and cost of carbon capture technology application in the U.S. refining industry

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment

A recent article in International Journal of GHG Control studied the carbon capture potential and costs of different carbon capture system design strategies for U.S. refineries. 

Yuan Yao, John Marano, William R. Morrow III, Eric Masanet, Quantifying carbon capture potential and cost of carbon capture technology application in the U.S. refining industry, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Volume 74, July 2018, Pages 87-98, ISSN 1750-5836.

Carbon capture (CC) technology is receiving increasing attention as a critical technology for climate change mitigation. Most previous studies focus on the application of CC technology in the power generation sector, while fewer studies have analyzed applications in the refining industry, which is one of the largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions sources in the U.S. industrial sector. Unlike the power generation sector, the refining industry has highly distributed CO2 emission sources. In this paper, bottom-up modelling and techno-economic analysis approaches are integrated to quantify the national CO2 emission reduction potential and costs of three types of CC technologies applied to U.S. refineries: (1) pre-combustion, (2) post-combustion, and (3) oxyfuel-combustion. Two scenarios are developed to compare different design strategies for CC systems; one is a distributed design scenario for post-combustion technology, the other is a centralized design scenario for pre-combustion and oxyfuel-combustion technology. The results of the two scenarios are compared, and the trade-offs between different design strategies are highlighted. The results shown in this study provide an intuitive and quantitative understanding of the potential of CC technology to reduce CO2 emissions from the U.S. refining industry. Such information is helpful to policymakers, oil companies, and energy/environmental analysts for strategic planning and systems design to manage future CO2 emissions of refineries.