The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is funding research aimed at improving the performance and reducing the cost of oxycombustion technology for low-carbon power generation. The objective of this study is to guide oxycombustion research in areas that can provide the largest benefits in electricity cost and plant performance. The advanced oxycombustion technologies evaluated in this study are categorized into four major areas: advanced boiler design, advanced oxygen production, advanced flue gas treatment, and innovative CO2 compression concepts. This report contains the results of a techno-economic study of nine configurations: eight cases employing advanced oxycombustion technologies and a reference case employing what is considered to be current technology capable of facilitating an oxycombustion power generation system.

In order to meet the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, DOE/NETL has established carbon capture and utilization/storage (CCUS) goals requiring that advanced CCUS technologies will be capable of capturing 90% of CO2 generated in a fossil-based power generation system for less than 35 percent increase in electricity cost of an equivalent plant without carbon capture. The advanced oxycombustion technologies studied were evaluated to determine if they could meet the DOE goal. The electricity costs of the advanced technology cases were compared to those of an air-fired, supercritical boiler with no carbon capture. None of the advanced technologies were shown to independently meet the DOE goal. However, the combined effect of including all advanced technologies in the same plant is shown to exceed the DOE CCUS goal.

As might be expected, improvements in oxygen separation technologies, sulfur-tolerant materials, and high temperature materials were found to substantially improve oxycombustion performance. This study attempts to provide systematic quantification of the benefit that future research and development directed at advancing the performance of these key technology areas will have on a low-carbon power generation industry.


The rising concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the environment has been widely documented. Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have shown a steady rise from approximately 300 parts per million (ppm) in 1940 to more than 370 ppm today (1). At the same time, various studies have documented noticeable changes in climate during recent years, and model predictions suggest that CO2 levels play a role in these climate variations (2). Given the potential implications surrounding global climate change and increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, technology and policy options are being investigated for mitigating CO2 emissions.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.