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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: 110, article number: 103248

Authors' information

Gustafsson, Kare
Royal Institute of Technology
Sadegh-Vaziri, Ramiar
Royal Institute of Technology
Gronkvist, Stefan
Royal Institute of Technology
Levihn, Fabian
Royal Institute of Technology
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG7 Affordable and clean energy

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