CO2 Reduction-Prospects for Coal
AUTHOR: Irene M Smith
DATE: December 1999
Within the context of international co-operation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, it is necessary to assess the prospects for CO2 reduction from coal-fired power generation. The first priority is to see what the best existing coal technologies could now offer, given more widespread deployment, second to examine the benefits and research needs of emerging technologies and third to assess the technical feasibility of concepts for greater CO2 reduction in the future. This approach is applied throughout the report. It provides a technical review of CO2 abatement concerning mainly technologies to increase the efficiency of coal use and/or to facilitate CO2 capture.
The latest research developments in CO2 capture systems are described and their applications to specific coal technologies compared. Several projects in progress to store CO2 underground are detailed. Ocean storage is addressed mainly with respect to technical feasibility but including potential impacts as well as legal and political barriers. Projects to offset CO2 emissions by means of CO2 uptake in various biological systems are reviewed. Various combinations of CO2 capture and storage systems with coal-fired power generating technologies are compared. Greater international consistency is required so that the many different prospects for CO2 reduction can be assessed for specific sites.