Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the key technology to reduce CO2 emissions from the conventional power systems. CCS has the flexibility, compatibility, and great potential to reduce emissions when combined with the current energy infrastructure. Through quantifying the environmental benefits of the combustion-based electricity generation system with CCS by life cycle assessment (LCA), decision-makers can grasp the contribution of upstream and downstream processes to various environmental impacts, a better trade-off between climate change and non-climate impact categories. This work reviews the LCA research on the combustion-based electricity generation system integrated with CCS in the past 10 years. These studies show that CCS can reduce the direct CO2 emissions from power plants by nearly 90%. While CCS effectively mitigates climate change, it also increases other environmental impacts to varying degrees and results in energy penalty of 15-44%. The actual greenhouse gas of the power plant is reduced by 40-80%. We further analyze a series of key issues involved in the LCA of the combustion-based electricity generation system integrated with CCS, including the functional unit, basic assumptions, system boundaries and assessment methods. Time span and the leakage need to be considered by researchers in LCA. The perspective of research needs to shift from the specific application of a single CCS to the impact assessment of large-scale deployment, and a single environment or economic discipline to interdisciplinary assessment. It is more cost-effective to realize the coordinated emission reduction between the power plant and the upstream and downstream supply chain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)