International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 4 (2010) 316–320

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International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijggc

CO2 capture for refineries, a practical approach
Jiri van Straelen a,*, Frank Geuzebroek a, Nicholas Goodchild b, Georgios Protopapas a, Liam Mahony c
a

Shell Global Solutions, Badhuisweg 3, 1031CM Amsterdam, The Netherlands Shell Canada Limited, 400 4th Avenue SW, Station M, Calgary, Alberta T2PH2, 5 Canada c Shell Global Solutions, Stichthage Building, Koningin Julianaplein 15, 2501 CH The Hague, The Netherlands
b

A R T I C L E I N F O

A B S T R A C T

Article history: Received 14 April 2009 Received in revised form 28 September 2009 Accepted 30 September 2009 Available online 12 November 2009 Keywords: Post-combustion capture Refineries

This paper evaluates the opportunities and associated costs for post-combustion capture at a world-scale complex refinery. It is concluded that it is technically feasible to apply post-combustion capture at such a refinery. The costs for capture and sequestration from a gasifier are calculated to be lowest at about 30 Euro per ton; this process currently already produces a concentrated CO2 stream. Next, the CO2 source most suited for capture appears to be a combined stack, but there are a number of other sources that may be targeted at comparable costs. In total these sources may form about 40% of the overall refinery emissions. Our evaluations show the costs of capture from such sources based on available amine technology will be in the range of 90–120 Euro per ton, which is about 3–4 times higher than the current carbon trading values. The capture of CO2 from a large amount of smaller CO2 sources will bring along even much higher costs. A high-level study of the CO2 emissions profile of a number of Shell refineries shows that, typically, up to 50% of the emitted CO2 may be captured at similar costs. About 10–20% of concentrated CO2 associated with hydrogen manufacturing may be captured at lower costs. The remainder of emitted dilute CO2 will bring along significantly higher costs. Based on this study, it is concluded for the justification of the implementation of post-combustion capture at refineries, either a significant increase in carbon trading values, mandatory regulations, or a major technological breakthrough is required. ß 2009 Shell Global Solutions International BV. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction CO2 emissions from refineries account for about 4% of the global CO2 emissions, close to 1 billion metric tons of CO2 per year (Gale, 2005). For Shell, as an oil and gas company, the CO2 emissions from refineries form a very substantial part of the overall group CO2 emissions. Shell has reduced the CO2 emissions from Shelloperated facilities by approximately 30% compared to 1990. To further reduce these emissions in refineries, one of the routes is via CO2 capture and storage. This paper discusses post-combustion CO2 capture at existing refinery assets. A case study is presented, which evaluates the opportunities for post-combustion capture at a large world-scale complex refinery. Based on this case study, a number of general conclusions are presented for post-combustion capture at refineries. 2. CO2 emissions in refining worldwide Globally, the refining sector ranks third among stationary CO2 producers, after the power production sector and the cement

industry. Other large producers are the iron and steel industry, and the petrochemicals industry (Table 1). Together, stationary sources amount to about 60% of overall global CO2 emissions. A refinery may use about 1.5% up to 8% of feed as fuel, depending on the complexity of the refinery. For a world-scale 300,000 barrel per day refinery, this will lead to CO2 emissions ranging from 0.8 up to 4.2 million tons of CO2 per year (Gary and Handwerk, 2001). CO2 may be emitted at refineries from a variety of sources. For a typical complex refinery, the key sources of CO2 are presented in Table 2. 3. Reducing refinery CO2 emissions CO2 emissions at refineries can be reduced through a number of routes. The first, and economically often the most attractive route is through energy conservation. A number of examples of successful energy reduction schemes such as through the construction of cogeneration plants, the reduction of flaring and the use of alternative energy sources have been published (IPIECA, 2007). However, the nature of refinery processes imply that even a refinery which is highly energy efficient will continue to consume considerable amounts of energy, and therefore produce considerable amounts of CO2. A way to further reduce these emissions is through CO2 capture and storage.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +31 20 630 3242. E-mail address: Jiri.VanStraelen@Shell.com (J. van Straelen).

1750-5836/$ – see front matter ß 2009 Shell Global Solutions International BV. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2009.09.022

Reddy and Vyas (2009) have investigated the recovery of CO2 from pressure swing adsorption off gas. The current paper goes more into detail on post-combustion capture at refineries. / International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 4 (2010) 316–320 Table 1 Global stationary CO2 emitters. 2005). A case study is presented which evaluates the Table 2 Overview major CO2 emission sources typical complex refinery. 3.466 In general. 4. the construction of two smaller scale demonstration plants are also planned (OGEM. Davison et al. burners may be oxy-fired. but exclude CO2 transportation.  The presented costs are on a Western Europe. Costs of capture To understand which refinery sources are the most suited for capture. The CO2 emissions profile used for this study is representative for a large world-scale complex refinery. 2008). Furthermore several studies include assumptions with regard to cost reductions associated with future technology development curves and upscaling. At refineries. This produces a stream containing only CO2 and water. steel and engineering services were significantly lower that is currently the case. Oxy-firing Pure oxygen rather than air is used for combustion.1. CO2 emitter Furnaces and boilers Utilities Fluid catalytic cracker Hydrogen manufacturing Description % of total refinery emissions 30–60% 20–50% 20–35% 5–20% Heat required for the separation of liquid feed and to provide heat of reaction to refinery processes such as reforming and cracking CO2 from the production of electricity and steam at a refinery Process used to upgrade a low hydrogen feed to more valuable products For numerous processes. typically forming CO2 and hydrogen. present costs in the range of 60–90 Euro per ton. but the values they present are for a coal fired power plant with a fully heat-integrated CO2 capture plant. The results of this study are presented below. Process Fossil fuels Power Cement production Refineries Iron and steel industry Petrochemical industry Oil and gas processing Other sources Biomass Bioethanol and bioenergy Total Number of sources 4942 1175 638 269 470 N/A 90 Emissions (106 metric ton CO2 per year) 10. gasifiers with precombustion capture may be used to supply the refinery’s utilities. Note that great care must be taken when comparing the costs of capture to those presented by others. a sound comprehension of the factors that drive the costs of capture is required. sequestration and monitoring.3.2. These results were used to evaluate trends in the costs of capture. Pre-combustion capture A category of processes where the fuel is pretreated. Post-combustion capture An end-of-pipe solution.J. The BP Grangemouth study (Simmonds et al. 2009).. a number of capture plant designs were made. McKinsey (2008) for example. A further important development are the plans of StatoilHydro to deploy full-scale CO2 capture at their Mongstad refinery by 2014. According to the IHS Downstream Capital Cost Index capital cost increased by about 50% between 2003 and 2007 (IHS/CERA.000 barrels oil per day. 2009). The CO2 is removed from the hydrogen. a fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) and a variety of smaller unit operations. rather than CO2. 2007 basis. Further. which has the benefit that the CO2 is then at a high pressure and therefore easier to remove. in-house simulations were performed for the capture of CO2 using a conventional 30% mono ethanolamine solution.1. The refinery includes a gasifier for hydrogen production.539 932 798 646 379 50 33 317 opportunity for post-combustion capture at a large world-scale complex refinery. For this purpose. In recent years. before the flue gas is emitted to atmosphere via the stack. 2004) present indicative values in the range of 50–60 US dollar per ton. their figures date from before 2004. However. the CCP further focused the development of CO2 capture and storage technologies in refining (Miracca et al. Most refineries produce this hydrogen on-site. some more general conclusions on the feasibility of CO2 capture in the refining industry are presented. for example via steam methane reforming or with a gasifier . 4. when the costs of energy. three routes are recognized for the capture of CO2 (Freund. N2 and water. where CO2 is removed from the flue gas. as a part of the CO2 Capture Project (CCP). a significant amount of studies have been published which investigate the reduction of CO2 emissions in refining via carbon capture and storage. A 7% discount factor is used. Simmonds et al. Case study: post-combustion capture at a large world-scale complex refinery The authors have investigated the opportunities for CO2 capture at a large world-scale complex refinery.000–500. Emissions from transportation sector not included (Gale. (2009) have presented results on the co-production of hydrogen and electricity with CO2 capture. In refineries. As a part of this project. Based on these simulations. For example. which handles in the range of 400. 3. Also the operation of fluid catalytic crackers on oxygen is under study. van Straelen et al. refineries require hydrogen. The CAPEX of the designed capture plants were then estimated using in-house cost-estimation tools. Finally the calculated cost per tonne strongly depends on 303 7887 91 13. 3. Start-up of the unit is 2 years after the full investment is made.  The costs for the construction of a stand-alone utilities plant for the required steam and power are included. In subsequent work. 2005). The presented costs of capture in this document are based on the following assumptions:  Costs include CO2 capture and compression.. a stand-alone utilities plant. Thus a correction is made for the CO2 emitted by the utilities plant.  Presented are the costs per ton of CO2 avoided. (2004) present a case study of the capture of CO2 at the BP Grangemouth site. The presented refinery cannot be related to any specific existing refinery asset.

to 4% (which would be typical for a cogen). 2009). Costs of capture as a function of CO2 concentration in flue gas. This option is worked out in more detail in this paper. tax charges. commercially available processes are currently all solvent based. above 2000 kt CO2 per year. this stream is already highly concentrated and it requires only compression and sequestration. 4. Reddy et al. Sun et al. are a cogeneration plant (utilities).318 J. CO2 capture from combined stack A is the most attractive opportunity. as the most advanced. . Fig.8 MJ/kg CO2 (e. 2007. Shell Global Solutions International internal calculations show this will not offer more Fig. It must be recognized more advanced solvents are currently available for CO2 capture. On the other hand.000 metric tons) CO2 per year. CO2 recovery has been optimized per case to between 85% and 90%. The overall capture costs go up by over 25% when the flue gas CO2 concentration drops from 12% (which would be typical of a boiler burning heavy residue). and even more advanced technologies are expected to be available in the future (e. This overview shows the costs of capture of CO2 from the gasifier are lowest. van Straelen et al. Costs are based on the capture of 1000 kt/a CO2. 4). due to current equipment sizing limitations. Holton. 3. 2 shows also the scale of CO2 capture substantially influences the costs of capture. Holton. CO2 emissions profile at a large world-scale complex refinery An overview of the CO2 emission profile of the reference large world-scale complex refinery is presented in Fig. The emissions data from Fig. 2009) However. 2003. 4. it is assumed the behavior of these costs to the flue gas concentration and CO2 volume will be similar. all about 1200 kt CO2 per year.. 2. cash discounting premises.g. Resnik et al.. CO2 emissions point sources at a typical refinery used for this case study.3. 3 can now be combined with the costs data from Figs. Fig. a gasifier and a large combined stack A.g. Fig. 1 shows the concentration of CO2 in the source substantially influences the overall costs of capture. Costs of capture as a function of flue gas volume for a flue gas containing 8% CO2. Results current study Fig. 1 and 2. 1. Current state-of-art solvents claim to be able to capture CO2 at about 2. 4. A lack of scale benefit rapidly drives up the capture costs if the source emits less than 500 kt (500. no further amine treating step is required.2. to present the costs of capture for the different sources (Fig. From the sources requiring treating with an amine-based solvent. and cost of capital (for example McKinsey. 3. Overview costs of CO2 capture with MEA from emissions point sources at the typical refinery used for this case study. than about 25% reduction of overall costs of CO2 capture compared to a conventional 30 wt% MEA solvent. / International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 4 (2010) 316–320 Fig. 2005. a further benefit of scale is hardly achieved. The three largest point sources. Chen. 2006. 2008 takes a ‘‘society view’’ with significantly lower cost than the ‘‘company view’’ represented in this article).. Therefore the CO2 capture costs will continue to be about 3–4 times higher than the current carbon trading values.

6. Shell is pursuing a portfolio of technology developments both in-house and through a number of partnerships. It was concluded that due to the low power-to-heat ratio. which is important for CO2 injection/storage requirements (Benson and Cook. the dimension of a large complex refinery may be over 5 km2. However. many kilometers of additional ducting is required to collect the CO2. but there are a number of other sources that may be targeted at comparable costs. a stand-alone utilities plant is required to supply the utilities. Net power output LP process steam Combined heat and power efficiency Fuel gas consumption CO2 produced 16.g. The remainder of emitted dilute CO2 will bring along significantly higher costs. van Straelen et al. are the high pressure or high concentration sources. to justify the implementation of post-combustion capture at refineries. are presented in Table 3.4. a stand-alone boiler with a Rankin cycle steam turbine is the most attractive option. Utility requirements for capture plant A conceptual capture plant was designed. This category typically will form 30 to 50% of the refinery CO2 emissions. Emission sources in this category are for example large stacks from furnaces and gas turbines. the CO2 source most suited for capture appears to be a combined stack. is a large number of small. In this figure. The costs of capture from these small sources will be very high. Next. Therefore. which captures CO2 from the combined stack A. including compression. dependent on the configuration of the facility. Conclusions Based on this case study. typically. 3 and would comprise a large variety of operations such as small boilers.4 MW 128 MW 93. The data presented in Fig. Further more. 4. as well as the required blower duty will be of such a magnitude that this does not appear to be a feasible opportunity. and will bring along very high CAPEX. it is concluded that it is technically feasible to apply post-combustion capture in refining. The geographic lay out of a complex refinery is such. The utility requirements for the capture plant. either a significant increase in carbon trading values. The opportunity to combine a number of smaller sources and route all these emission sources to one CO2 capture plant was also evaluated. We believe that a regulatory framework is required to create incentive for CO2 capture and storage. stack 10–22 in Fig. but our evaluations show with currently available technologies at a typical refinery. First. such as from power plants. small furnaces and perhaps the emissions from an on-site chemicals plant. These sources can mainly be found at hydrogen production units and will make up 5–20% of a refinery’s emissions. or a major technological break-through is required. Marginal abatement curve CO2 capture with MEA from emissions point sources at the typical refinery used for this case study. only the sources above 400 kt/a are presented. 4 can also be presented as a marginal abatement curve (Fig. as this process currently already produces a concentrated CO2 stream. Such sources would total to about 1000 kt/a CO2 in the refinery as described in Fig.J. / International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 4 (2010) 316–320 319 The integration of waste heat was studied to further reduce costs. the combined routing of a number of such point sources to one absorber does not appear to be attractive. Due to their large scale. and least costly for capture. 4. The costs for capture and sequestration from a gasifier are calculated to be lowest. Generalized implications for refineries Based on a screening of a number of Shell refineries. The third category. Our evaluations show the costs of capture from such sources based on available amine technology will be in the range of 90–120 Euro per ton. Table 3 Overview utilities for capture plant. these offer the lowest costs of post-combustion capture for flue gas at refineries. These smaller distributed sources would correspond to. Due to the size of the plot space of a world-scale refinery. Future goals To bring down the costs of post-combustion capture. The capture of CO2 from a large amount of smaller CO2 sources will bring along even much higher costs. In particular technologies Fig. mainly associated with the costs for collection and low-pressure ducting. 5). e. it is concluded that in general at a complex refinery three categories of CO2 sources for post-combustion capture can be identified. that at a typical refinery. Both the amount of LP steam as well as the required power is of such a magnitude. The design assumes the capture of 90% of the CO2 at 95% availability. and CO2 emissions point sources are scattered around the site. Adding on additional even smaller sources will bring along higher costs. that ducting of small sources to one capture point will bring along high additional costs. We conclude from this study that.5% 157 mW 270 kt/a . About 10–20% of concentrated CO2 associated with hydrogen manufacturing may be captured at lower costs. This may affect the quality of the concentrated CO2. the opportunities for significant heat integration are marginal.5. therefore capturing 1000 kt/a CO2. A number of utility concepts were evaluated for this purpose. up to 50% of the emitted CO2 may be captured at costs comparable to those found in the case study. 2005). mandatory regulations. A high-level study of the CO2 emissions profile of a number of Shell refineries shows that. finding space for the large diameter ducts in an already cramped refinery will be a challenge. low concentration sources scattered around the site. Also note that trace components present in refinery flue gases may be different from trace contaminants in other flue gases. 5. which is about 3–4 times higher than the current carbon trading values. Only sources above 400 kt/a CO2 are included in the curve. In total these sources may form about 40% of the overall refinery emissions. or the off gas from the refinery’s utilities plant. Both the capital costs. 4. The second category is made up by a number of large flue gas sources at a refinery. 5. about 50% of total refinery CO2 emissions.

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