Near-term mega-scale CO2 capture and storage demonstration opportunities in China

Zhong Zheng, Eric D. Larson, Zheng Li, Guangjian Liu, Robert H. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


China is unique in the large number (nearly 400) of existing and planned projects for making ammonia, methanol, and other fuels and chemicals from coal. A natural by-product of these processes is a nearly pure CO2 stream. Collectively, these facilities will emit (once all are operating) some 270 million tonnes of CO2 per year. Taking advantage of the relatively low cost of capturing these CO2 streams (as compared with capturing CO2 from power plant flue gases), some of the 20 large-scale CO 2 capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects called for by the leaders from the G8 to be deployed during the next decade might be expeditiously located in China. Our analysis identifies 18 coal-chemicals/fuels facilities, each emitting one million tonnes/year or more of CO2, that are within 10 km of prospective deep saline aquifer CO2 storage sites and an additional 8 facilities within 100 km. The potential CO2 storage basins are identified based on work by others. We adapted two published cost models for CO2 compression and transport to develop preliminary estimates of prospective costs for potential CCS projects in China. Our "Nth plant" cost estimates for the 18 projects where the CO2 source is within 10 km of a sink, are between $9 and $13/tonne of CO2. (The highest cost estimate among all evaluated projects was less than $21/tonne of CO2.) The 10-year net-present value cost for projects ranged from $89 million to $1.15 billion, with more than 75% of the projects having net present value costs of $200 million or less. These relatively modest CCS costs suggest that there would be mutual value in international cooperation to support CCS demonstrations in China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1169
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 3 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution


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