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Project description

O2GEN project focuses on one of the most important recommendations of the Zero Emission Platform´s (ZEP) report for the deployment of CCS in the European Union (EU): the use of higher O2 concentrations in oxyfuel combustion reducing the flue gas recirculation and energy penalty. The utilization of Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) oxyfuel combustion enables the reduction of the size of the boiler and the efficiency penalty, resulting in a more environmentally and economically attractive technology. The project is going to research and demonstrate different options in state of the art facilities with the view of drawing conclusions that will be included in future large scale power plants. O2GEN includes relevant participation of key industrial partners, technology suppliers and state of the art facilities that also assure improvements in operational flexibility.

One important challenge is the system integration aiming the reduction of energy penalties associated with the capture process. The possibilities to overcome this problem, and how to integrate the energy and the capture system into an original power generation system is a strong driving force to minimize the parasitic power losses when applying the CO2 capture process.

Project objectives & Summary

The project objective is to demonstrate the concept of the second generation oxyfuel combustion that reduce significantly (50%) the overall efficiency penalty of CO2 capture into power plants, from approximately 12 to 6 efficiency points.

The improvement in the overall efficiency of power plants with CO2 capture requires the development and demonstration of overhauled processes and components throughout the whole system to obtain an optimized combustion with high oxygen levels (30-50% v/v basis). The second generation oxyfuel concept will consist of integrated high efficiency optimised systems for oxygen production, steam generation (boiler), and CO2 purification and compression, process integration and application of conclusions to large power plant designs.

However to achieve this objective is necessary to demonstrate and analyze the effect of high oxygen concentrations in combustion performance, fuel flexibility, controllability of solid looping within the boiler, material performance, the effects on carbon procession unit and, depending on the results obtained in the demonstration tests, how to use-integrate-optimize the energy/heat from different parts of the process to obtain a reduction of the overall penalty caused by CCS. The project is going to deals with this challenge.

Currently, it is a big challenge to find ways to increase the efficiency of the processes involved in CCS and thereby reducing the energy penalty. While the efficiency of conventional air-fired thermal power plants is typically 45%, the efficiency significantly reduces by 12% when the oxyfuel CCS components are added to capture the CO2. This is a significant reduction in the efficiency and will drastically increase the fuel consumption for unit power produced resulting in increased cost of electricity and further CO2 emissions. Therefore significant improvement in the efficiencies of the additional CCS units and the oxyfuel boiler are necessary to make the process economically viable.

The development and demonstration proposed in O2GEN will consist of four main steps:

  1. Identification of inefficiencies in 1st generation oxyfuel technology and data generation for the 2nd generation.
  2. Development and demonstration of each sub-process (ASU, Boiler, CPU) of Oxyfuel CCS concept (with 30-40% oxygen concentration in the boiler).
  3. Process integration of ASU, Boiler Island, and CPU.
  4. Optimization of integrated overall oxyfuel process with CCS and drawing conclusions for large scale replication in power plants.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 295533
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