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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

BECCS with combined heat and power: Assessing the energy penalty

Gustafsson, Kare; Sadegh-Vaziri, Ramiar; Gronkvist, Stefan; Levihn, Fabian; Sundberg, Cecilia


Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is widely recognised as an important carbon dioxide removal technology. Nevertheless, BECCS has mostly failed to move beyond small-scale demonstration units. One main factor is the energy penalty incurred on power plants. In previous studies, this penalty has been determined to be 37.2 %?48.6 % for the amine capture technology. The aim of this study is to quantify the energy penalty for adding the hot potassium carbonate (HPC) capture technology to a biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant, connected to a district heating system. In this context, the energy driving the capture process is partly recovered as useful district heating. Therefore, a modified energy penalty is proposed, with the inclusion of recovered heat. This inclusion is especially meaningful if the heat has a substantial monetary value. The BECCS system is examined using thermodynamic analysis, coupled with modelling of the capture process in Aspen PlusTM. Model validation is performed with data from a BECCS test facility. The results of this study show that the modified energy penalty is in the range of 2%?4%. These findings could potentially increase the attractiveness of BECCS as a climate abatement option in a district heating CHP setting.


Bio-energy with carbon capture and storage; (BECCS); CO2 capture; Combined heat and power; Energy penalty; Chemical absorption; (K2CO3); Modelling and simulation

Published in

International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
2021, Volume: 108, article number: 103248

    SLU Authors

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG7 Affordable and clean energy

    UKÄ Subject classification


    More information

    Correction in: Science of the Total Environment. Volume: 837, article number: 155834, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155834

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