Carbon Mitigation Initiative

Tenth Year Annual Report:
Carbon Capture: Results


  • Analyses of systems that co-produce liquid fuels and electricity using either coal or natural gas combined with biomass and CCS showed:
    • By co-processing ~ 30% biomass, GHG emissions could be reduced ~ 90% compared with equivalent petroleum-based transportation fuels and coal-fired power generation with CO2 vented.
    • Biomass required to produce low-GHG emission transportation fuels in this manner would be less than 40% of the biomass required to make "pure" biofuels like cellulosic ethanol.
    • At a $90 a barrel crude oil price and a GHG emissions price of $40 a tonne CO2eq such systems could provide electricity at lower cost than can stand-alone coal power plants.
    • Such systems could protect investors, in the presence of a serious carbon mitigation policy, against the risk of oil price collapse.
  • A study of options for decarbonizing old U.S. coal power plants suggests that repowering sites of old coal power plants with new plants that coproduce fuels and electricity with CCS is likely to be much less costly approach than CCS retrofits or repowering with low GHGemitting new stand-alone power plants.
  • Converting carbon in CO2 emissions from coal electric plants into transportation fuels was shown to enable deep cuts in transportation sector GHG emissions only in the near term, before widespread decarbonization of the electric power sector; in the long term, it is not consistent with deep (80+%) reductions in GHG emissions across the entire US energy sector. 18 coal chemical and fuels plants have been identified in China that produce at least 1 million tonnes of CO2 in already-concentrated streams and have prospective storage sites nearby, offering attractive opportunities for international CCS demonstration projects.
  • The final draft of the Fossil Energy Systems chapter of the forthcoming Global Energy Assessment has been completed.
  • Research on battery charging under variable conditions show that lithium ion batteries are robust under variable current situations regardless of their state of charge, while nickel metal hydride batteries (like those currently used in some hybrid vehicles) experience sharp declines in charge storage efficiency under similar conditions.

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Last update: August 25 2016
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