Recent studies have indicted that more than 40 billion barrels of additional oil can be produced economically with CO2-EOR for a low CO2 capture cost and an oil price above $70/bbl. More than 10 billion tons of CO2, the equivalent of CO2 emissions from 50 1 GW power plants over a period of 30 years, can also be stored using CO2-EOR. Unfortunately, the cost of CO2 capture using current state-of-the-art absorption based post-combustion CO2 capture technologies is very high because of 25-30% reduction in the power plant output, and an 80-100% increase in the capital cost. These technologies are not viable in the near-term for CO2-EOR without a high market price for CO2. For this reason, most of the currently proposed CO2-EOR projects are based on IGCC plants that are yet to be built. This paper discusses a novel capture process based on physical sorption. Unlike the absorption based processes this process has a much lower CO2 capture cost, does not require the additional removal of NOX and SOX, and can be easily retrofitted to an existing power plant or refinery.
Based on extensive pilot testing over a period of over three years, detailed engineering designs, and detailed costing, the process can provide more than 99% CO2 purity and more than 90% CO2 recovery, and can produce pipeline quality CO2 with 60% lower capital cost and at least 40% lower energy penalty compared to the best current technology. The process will be tested with flue gas from a combustion source early next year and can become commercially available in 3-4 years. Lower capital requirements and <16% parasitic power can allow compressed CO2 production for less than $30/ton from existing power plants, refineries and chemical plants. This can allow many power plants and refineries near existing CO2 pipelines to become potential CO2 sources for near-term CO2-EOR in many locations in the United States.