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Multi-objective design optimization of a natural gas-combined cycle with carbon dioxide capture in a life cycle perspective

Etienne Bernier, François Maréchal and Réjean Samson

Energy, 2010, vol. 35, issue 2, 1121-1128

Abstract: The use of multi-objective optimization techniques is attractive to incorporate environmental objectives into the design of energy conversion systems. A method to locally optimize a given process while considering its global environmental impact by using life cycle assessment (LCA) to account for avoidable and unavoidable off-site emissions for each independent material input is presented. It is applied to study the integration of a CO2-capture process using monoethanolamine in a natural gas-combined cycle power plant, simultaneously optimizing column dimensions, heat exchange, and absorbent flow configuration with respect to two objectives: the levelized cost of electricity and its life cycle global-warming potential. The model combines a process flow-sheeting model and a separate process-integration model. After optimization using an evolutionary algorithm, the results showed that widening the absorber and generating near-atmospheric pressure steam are cost-effective options but that increasing stripper complexity is less so. With $7.80/GJ natural gas and $20/ton CO2 handling, the minimum on-site CO2 abatement cost reaches $62.43/ton on a life cycle basis, achieved with a capture rate of over 90%. Of this, $2.13/ton is related to off-site emissions – a specific advantage of LCA that could help industries and governments anticipate the actual future costs of CO2 capture.

Keywords: Life cycle; Methodology; Multi-objective optimization; Carbon dioxide capture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:35:y:2010:i:2:p:1121-1128