By Cameron Chai
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), an Australian national science agency, will soon release a report on its four year research program on post-combustion carbon dioxide capture (PCC) technology.
The main objective of the A$21 million program is to minimize greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power stations in Australia.
As Australia continues to depend more on coal resources, the introduction of the innovative technology can decrease coal’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions in the environment. Coal contributes to about 80% of Australia’s electricity, about 17% of export income and nearly 40% of carbon emissions.
The research results have revealed that the PCC technology is able to capture over 85% of carbon dioxide from the flue gases and other gases produced at the power stations. The technology has flexible application based on varying consumer demand in the energy market and can be installed in both existing and new power stations. Additional capital investment and loss in power station efficiency are major challenges to implement the technology. When the technology is fully developed, the installation and operating costs will considerably decrease, stated Dr Paul Feron of CSIRO.
The CSIRO program has received funding from the Department of Resource, Energy and Tourism (DRET) and secured financial support via the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) on Clean Development and Climate. The funding has helped to construct and operate two demonstration PCC facilities at Stanwell’s Tarong power station located in Queensland and Delta Electricity’s Munmorah power station in New South Wales.
In addition to performing research on the PCC technology, CSIRO has conducted laboratory studies on the highly efficient gas absorbents, several modeling designs and processes for upgrades, and environmental impact research.