Post-combustion capture at International Power’s Hazelwood Power Station
The purpose of the CO2CRC H3 Capture Project is to better understand the performance of various CO2 capture technologies with Australian brown coal flue gases and to evaluate the performance of three technologies for larger scale capture. This will reduce the technical risk and cost of post-combustion capture for Victorian coal-fired stations.
The capture technologies under evaluation are:
Solvent absorption – the most mature technology and currently the method of choice for CO2 separation in industry globally. Find out more
Membrane separation – a promising stand-alone technology that can also be integrated with solvent systems. Find out more
Pressure swing adsorption – a new technology that captures CO2 using fixed beds of solid material and releases it by pressure changes. Find out more
The CO2CRC H3 Capture Project will allow CO2CRC to leverage the existing research base of its capture activities in Victoria. The University of Melbourne is developing solvent and membrane technologies while Monash University performs research and development on adsorbents.The project will utilise the solvent-based International Power Capture Plant at Hazelwood power station.
The project aims to:
- determine the effects of the operating parameters of CO2 concentration, moisture content, SOx and NOx concentration and fly ash properties on the behaviour of solvent systems and other novel separation technologies;
- assess a post-combustion capture process and energy integration options for Hazelwood Power Station; and
- review the technical and economic viability of the commercial use of post-combustion capture for existing and new Victorian brown-coal power stations.
The CO2CRC H3 Capture Project is Australia’s most comprehensive CO2 capture research facility.
The project is part of the Latrobe Valley Post-Combustion Capture Project and is supported by the Victorian Government, through their Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS) Brown Coal R&D funding. The majority of funding for the CO2CRC H3 Capture Project is provided by CO2CRC and International Power.
CO2CRC capture demonstrations, along with the CO2CRC Otway storage demonstration project, provide a significant platform for developing cutting edge CCS technology and will help Australia contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Who are the partners in the project?
International Power Australia is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Power plc, a UK-based independent power generation and operation company. Since becoming established in Australia in 1996, International Power Australia has invested in excess of A$5 billion and focused on becoming a leading player in the energy industry.
The company owns and operates more than 3700 MW of renewable, gas-fired and brown coal-fired generating plants in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. It also has an energy retailing operation in Victoria and South Australia called Simply Energy. International Power Australia is participating in a number of research projects aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions from brown coal-fired power stations.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) is one of the world’s leading collaborative research organisations focused on CCS.
CO2CRC is a joint venture between Australian and international industry, universities and other research bodies from Australia and New Zealand, and Australian Commonwealth, State and international government agencies. Its resources come from the Federal Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program, other Federal and State Government programs, and CO2CRC industry and research partners.
Background for capture projects
Brown coal, or lignite, is the cheapest source of fossil fuel for power generation in Australia. Australia has abundant brown coal reserves, 24.1 per cent of the world’s known economic resources. Brown coal has a very high moisture content, up to 60 per cent water, so burning brown coal for power in conventional boilers is less efficient and consequently produces more CO2 than dry coals.
Significant improvements in the process, coupled with the ability to capture CO2 from brown coal-fired power plants, will improve the prospects for the use of this abundant resource in a carbon-constrained future.