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Comparative life cycle analyses of bulk-scale coal-fueled solid oxide fuel cell power plants

Jake Nease and Thomas A. Adams

Applied Energy, 2015, vol. 150, issue C, 161-175

Abstract: Detailed cradle-to-grave life cycle analyses are performed for bulk-scale solid oxide fuel cell power plants fueled by gasified coal. These results are compared to cradle-to-grave life cycle analyses of the supercritical pulverized coal and integrated gasification combined cycle power generation plants, which are also performed as a part of this study. Life cycle inventories for each plant including the inputs (resources and fuels) and outputs (emissions and waste) of the gate-to-gate plants and their associated up- and down-stream sub-processes are computed. The impact of carbon capture and sequestration on each plant is quantified and assessed using the ReCiPe 2008 life cycle inventory method for three socioeconomic perspectives. The results of each coal plant are compared to one another and to plants generating power from natural gas at the end-point level. Results indicate that not only do coal-fed SOFCs generate power with a significantly lower life cycle impact than the current state-of-the-art coal plants, but when carbon capture is enabled they can do so with a lower impact than the most modern plants utilizing natural gas, as well.

Keywords: Life cycle analysis; Solid oxide fuel cells; Coal; Natural gas; Gasification (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:150:y:2015:i:c:p:161-175