Journal of Power Sources | VOL. 448

Assessing the potential of molten carbonate fuel cell-based schemes for carbon capture in natural gas-fired combined cycle power plants

Publication Date Feb 1, 2020


Abstract This work explores two configurations of natural gas-fired combined cycles (NGCC) with molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) for CO2 capture. Special attention is devoted to the selection of MCFC operating conditions (trade-off between CO2 capture and voltage losses), heat integration scheme, fuel use and CO2 purification. Two schemes are considered: (i) in the first “integrated” scheme, MCFC modules are installed between the gas turbine and the heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) to maximize the efficiency of the integrated power plant; (ii) in the second “non-integrated” layout, the MCFC is located downstream of the HRSG and a regenerative heat exchanger is designed to preheat cathode reactants up to the MCFC working temperature. This study includes a full techno-economic analysis of the two layouts based on a preliminary sizing of the key-components, and a sensitivity analysis on the CO2 utilization factor. Compared to a benchmark amine scrubbing process, the “integrated” configuration shows considerably better performance (Specific Primary Energy Consumption for CO2 Avoided - SPECCA = 0.31 MJ kgCO2-1; Cost of CO2 avoided - CCA = 50 $ tCO2−1), whereas the “non-integrated” solution shows higher energy penalties but similar CO2 avoidance cost (SPECCA = 2.4  MJ  kgCO2−1; CCA = 76 $ tCO2−1).

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Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells
CO2 Avoided
Heat Recovery Steam Generator
CO2 Avoidance
Natural Gas-fired Combined Cycle Power
Gas-fired Combined Cycle Power Plants
Primary Energy Consumption For CO2
Natural Gas-fired Combined Cycles
Heat Integration Scheme
Regenerative Heat Exchanger

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