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Environmental Assessment of the Integration of Amine-based CO2 Capture Unit to Coal-Fired Power Plants for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

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3 Author(s)
Bhurisa Thitakamol ; Faculty of Engineering, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 0A2. Tel: (306) 585-5665, Fax: (306) 585-4855 ; Amornvadee Veawab ; Adisorn Aroonwilas

Coal-fired power plants produce flue gas containing a number of air pollutants including carbon dioxide (CO2), a major greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Capture of CO2 from the flue gas at the coal-fired power plants is one of the strategies to help Canada reduce its CO2 emissions, achieve its Kyoto protocol reduction target, and also ensure the continuation of fossil fuel utilization. This paper assessed potential environmental impacts of the amine-based CO2 capture unit which is integrated to the coal-fired power plants for post-combustion treatment of flue gas. The assessment was performed by identifying pollutants and their emission sources, reviewing the toxicology, potential implications to the human health and the environment, as well as related environmental laws, and ultimately providing recommendations of means to minimize such impacts. The analysis shows that while installing a CO2 capture unit leads to an environmental benefit through a reduction of CO2 emission in the atmosphere, it may create unintentional and potential burdens to the human health and the environment through four pathways including treated gas, process wastes, fugitive emissions, and accidental emissions. Such burdens nevertheless can be predetermined and properly mitigated through a well-established environmental management program and mitigation measures.

Published in:

2006 IEEE EIC Climate Change Conference

Date of Conference:

10-12 May 2006