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The impact of CO<sub>2</sub> capture in the power and heat sector on the emission of SO<sub>2</sub>, NO<sub>x</sub>, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds and NH<sub>3</sub> in the European Union

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Author: Koornneef, J. · Ramirez, A. · Harmelen, T. van · Horssen, A. van · Turkenburg, W. · Faaij, A.
Institution: TNO Bouw en ondergrond
Source:Atmospheric Environment, 11, 44, 1369-1385
Identifier: 346405
Keywords: Geosciences · Air pollutants · Air quality · CO<sub>2</sub> capture and storage · National Emission Ceiling Directive · Earth & Environment · CAS - Climate, Air and Sustainability · EELS - Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences


This study quantifies the trade-offs and synergies between climate and air quality policy objectives for the European power and heat (P&H) sector. An overview is presented of the expected performance data of CO<sub>2</sub> capture systems implemented at P&H plants, and the expected emission of key air pollutants, being: SO<sub>2</sub>, NO<sub>X</sub>, NH<sub>3</sub>, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM). The CO<sub>2</sub> capture systems investigated include: post-combustion, oxyfuel combustion and pre-combustion capture. For all capture systems it was found that SO<sub>2</sub>, NO<sub>x</sub> and PM emissions are expected to be reduced or remain equal per unit of primary energy input compared to power plants without CO<sub>2</sub> capture. Increase in primary energy input as a result of the energy penalty for CO<sub>2</sub> capture may for some technologies and substances result in a net increase of emissions per kWh output. The emission of ammonia may increase by a factor of up to 45 per unit of primary energy input for post-combustion technologies. No data are available about the emission of VOCs from CO<sub>2</sub> capture technologies. A simple model was developed and applied to analyse the impact of CO<sub>2</sub> capture in the European P&H sector on the emission level of key air pollutants in 2030. Four scenarios were developed: one without CO<sub>2</sub> capture and three with one dominantly implemented CO<sub>2</sub> capture system, varying between: post-combustion, oxyfuel combustion and pre-combustion. The results showed a reduction in GHG emissions for the scenarios with CO<sub>2</sub> capture compared to the baseline scenario between 12% and 20% in the EU 27 region in 2030. NO<sub>x</sub> emissions were 15% higher in the P&H sector in a scenario with predominantly post-combustion and lower when oxyfuel combustion (-16%) or pre-combustion (-20%) were implemented on a large scale. Large scale implementation of the post-combustion technology in 2030 may also result in significantly higher, i.e. increase by a factor of 28, NH<sub>3</sub> emissions compared to scenarios with other CO<sub>2</sub> capture options or without capture. SO<sub>2</sub> emissions were very low for all scenarios that include large scale implementation of CO<sub>2</sub> capture in 2030, i.e. a reduction varying between 27% and 41%. Particulate Matter emissions were found to be lower in the scenarios with CO<sub>2</sub> capture. The scenario with implementation of the oxyfuel technology showed the lowest PM emissions followed by the scenario with a significant share allocated to pre-combustion, respectively -59% and -31%. The scenario with post-combustion capture resulted in PM emissions varying between 35% reduction and 26% increase. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.