Human health risks of post- and oxy-fuel combustion carbon dioxide capture technologies: Hypothetically modeled scenarios

Significance Statement

The two traditional power plant technologies for capturing carbon dioxide are the Post-combustion and Oxy-fuel combustion systems. In this study, the post-combustion capture system absorbs carbon dioxide using a solvent called monoethanolamine, which is representative of a family of amine-based solvents, from flue gases of a coal-fired electricity generating plant. The resultant carbon dioxide rich solvent is fed to the regenerator for removal of the carbon dioxide, and the lean monoethanolamine solvent is recycled for further carbon dioxide capture. In oxy-fuel combustion, fuel is combusted in pure oxygen and a recycled flue gas stream is used to dilute the oxygen and provide heat transfer, which results in a high carbon dioxide concentration in the flue gas.

Despite Boundary Dam Power Station’s capacity for preventing 90% of its produced greenhouse gases from emission into the atmosphere, both the post-combustion and oxy-fuel capture processes emit some gases that can be hazardous to human health.

Researchers from University of Regina in Canada evaluated the predicted risk to human health associated with the Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada. The study, which was published in International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, predicted the potential instead of actual risks to human health because real data from the stack of the power plant are unavailable.  The study relied on results from a life cycle assessment study published in (Koiwanit et al., International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 2014).

Amine is an effective solvent.  However, there are solvent losses during the process of post-combustion capture as well as the emission of toxic gases such as sulfur oxides (SOX), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM2,5). The process also emits volatile products, largely degradation products of the amine, such as ammonia (NH3), aldehydes, ketones, formaldehyde, nitrosamines and nitramines, all of which pose health concerns such as an increased risk of cancer.

The study of Koiwanit et al. (2016) adopted the Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool (AQBAT) software package for conducting health risk evaluation and the pollutants PM2.5, NO2, SO2, O3 and CO were considered.

For modelling air dispersion and risk, the study adopted the regulatory model of the American Meteorological Society and the Environmental Protection Agency (AERMOD) and CALPUFF.  AERMOD is a steady-state Gaussian plume model, which assumes the dispersion concentration is described by a normal distribution. The model is designed to calculate pollutants in both simple and complex terrains in the same computational framework.  On the other hand, the CALPUFF system is a non-steady meteorological and air quality modelling system for complex terrains; it measures air quality in both near field ranges and as far as hundreds of kilometers away.

Data sources for the study included: (i) Canadian stack data provided by SaskPower, (ii) data from the study (Koiwanit, 2015), (iii) meteorological data specific to Estevan provided by the Saskatchewan Government, and (iv) data on emission rates from life cycle analysis studies of the Canadian lignite coal-fired power plant with and without carbon dioxide capture technology processes.  The data were all represented in MS® excel spreadsheets.

Health Canada’s air quality benefits assessment tool was used to estimate human risks or damage related to changes in ambient air quality. The data was analyzed in terms of a function, which is endorsed by Health Canada, for measuring the ambient air concentration response related to both chronic and acute human health outcomes.

The two technologies were compared based on three scenarios: conventional lignite-fired electricity generation station without carbon dioxide capture, lignite-fired electricity generation unit with an amine post-combustion capture system and an oxy-fuel combustion carbon dioxide capture system.

The studied system was located at Unit 3 of the Boundary Dam Power Station in Estevan, Saskatchewan, where emissions of NO2, PM2.5 and SO2 were predicted for an area of 19.625 Km2, which consists of a radial pattern of 100 increments with 25 points of 100m laterally on each increment (up to 2500 m).

Results from modeling with AERMOD showed that even though most of particulate matter from the power plant was a result of the oxidation of SOX and NOX to solid-phased sulfate and nitrate, the oxidation process is slow and formation of particulates can occur outside the 2.5 Km radius from the power plant.

Results from modeling with AQBAT showed the NO2 concentration affected only the change in health endpoint of acute exposure. The AQBAT modeling results on health outcomes of PM2.5 showed that PM2.5 was responsible for 14 health impacts, the five most important being acute respiratory symptom days, restricted activity days, asthma symptoms, child acute bronchitis, and adult chronic bronchitis. The AQBAT results on health outcomes of SO2 showed that the pollutant had health impact only in terms of the acute exposure mortality rate.

The research study concluded that the oxy-fuel system had better performance in terms of environmental impacts when compared to the post-combustion CO2 capture system. The oxy-fuel system showed better results in terms of reduction of acute respiratory problems, asthma, and restricted activity health outcomes. The two capture scenarios also demonstrated fewer adverse impacts on human health when compared to the no capture scenario. From the modeling results, among the pollutants, the PM2.5 was responsible for more health risks than gaseous NO2 and SO2, each of which was associated with only one health outcome.

According to Koiwanit et al. (2016), future work needs to be conducted using the modeling tool of AQBAT to assess health impacts of mercury and heavy metals, which were not taken into account in the study.

REFERENCE

Koiwanit, J. (2015). Evaluation of environmental performance of hypothetical Canadian oxy-

fuel combustion carbon capture with risk and cost analyses. (Ph.D Thesis, University of

Regina, Regina, SK).

Koiwanit, J., Manuilova, A., Chan, C., Wilson, M., & Tontiwachwuthikul, P. (2014). A life cycle assessment   study of a hypothetical Canadian oxy-fuel combustion carbon dioxide capture process. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, 28, 257-274.

Koiwanit, J., Manuilova, A., Chan, C., Wilson, M., Tontiwachwuthikul, P. Human Health Risks of Post- and Oxy-Fuel Combustion Carbon Dioxide Capture Technologies: Hypothetically Modeled Scenarios. (2016). International Journal of Greenhouse Control, 47, 279-290.

 Human health risks of post- and oxy-fuel combustion carbon dioxide capture technologies: Hypothetically modeled scenarios. Renewable Energy Global Innovations

 

 Human health risks of post- and oxy-fuel combustion carbon dioxide capture technologies: Hypothetically modeled scenarios. Renewable Energy Global Innovations

 

human-health-risks-of-post-and-oxy-fuel-combustion-carbon-dioxide-capture-technologies-hypothetically-modeled-scenarios3-renewable-energy-global-innovations

About the author

Dr. Jarotwan Koiwanit  is currently a Lecturer of Engineering in Industrial Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering of King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang in Thailand. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Thailand and was ranked first amongst the students in the program. She also got a Master degree in Industrial Engineering from Thailand as well as a Ph.D. degree in Industrial Systems Engineering from the University of Regina, located in Saskatchewan, Canada. Whilst in Canada, she received scholarships both from the University of Regina and the Government of Saskatchewan. Based on work she completed during her Ph.D. funded project, she published five journal papers and two conference papers. Two papers that were published in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Capture (Elsevier) were selected as Key Scientific Articles contributing to excellence in Energy Research by Renewable Energy Global Innovations in 2015 and 2016. She has also contributed to several presentations at national and international conferences.  She has a superior academic record and generates sound, publishable research results.

In 2016, Jarotwan was the Director of CU Innovation Academy, and the CU Innovation Hub for Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. She was also a guest lecturer at Thailand’s International School of Engineering (ISE), in Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Engineering. She has more than six years of experience in the areas of carbon capture and storage (CCS), life cycle assessment (LCA), and greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting. She has also been involved in many research projects and her specialties are in quality management and statistical quality control, air dispersion modeling, and health risk assessment. 

About the author

Dr. Anastassia Manuilova is Vice President, Energy and Environment at ArticCan Energy Services, a multi-disciplinary engineering consulting company. She oversees operations of the Engineering Branch and leads the Energy and Environment division. Anastassia’s distinct and stimulating career path of 17 years has seen her working across many industries including pharmaceuticals, chemicals and consumer products manufacturing, oil & gas, power, and research and technology commercialization, where she has led and executed a variety of environmental projects and sustainability initiatives.

Anastassia holds a B.Sc. degree in Chemical and Environmental Engineering from Estonia and an M.Sc. degree in Environmentally Sustainable Process Technology from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. She also has a Ph.D. in Environmental Systems Engineering from the University of Regina. 

 

About the author

Dr. Christine W. Chan has been Canada Research Chair Tier 1 in Energy and Environmental Informatics since 2006, and she is Professor of Engineering in Software Systems Engineering at Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science of University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. Dr. Chan received M. Sc. degrees in Computer Science and Management Information Systems from the University of British Columbia, and the Ph.D. degree in Applied Sciences from Simon Fraser University.

She served as a member of the Expert Panel on the Potential for New and Innovative Uses of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for Greening Canada, organized by the Council of Canadian Academies.

She is Editor of Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Area Editor of International Journal of Information Technology and Social Change.  She also serves as Editorial Board Member of another four international journals.

One of her papers won the Top Ten Most Cited Article 2005-2010 Award of the journal of Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence (Elsevier), and two papers published in International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Capture (Elsevier) were selected as Key Scientific Articles contributing to excellence in Energy Research by Renewable Energy Global Innovations in 2015 and 2016.

She is founder and principal investigator of the Energy Informatics Laboratory at the University of Regina. She has published over 270 technical publications, of which over 100 are in international journals.  

About the author

Dr. Malcolm A. Wilson received his BSc from the University of Nottingham (1972), and his MSc (1977) and PhD (1981) from the University of Saskatchewan.

Malcom is currently the COO of a Regina-based bioenergy company, Prairie Biogas Ltd. He is also the VP for a second bio-energy company New World Orange Biofuels and CEO of ArticCan Energy, an engineering company. In 1998, Malcolm played a significant role in the establishment of the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. After having served on the board of PTRC, he became the CEO in January, 2011 and stayed until June 2013.

He is currently active on an ISO committee (ISO TC265), which is developing voluntary standards for CO2 Capture, Transport and Storage. He remains Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Regina, and was appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of Hunan, China, in 2012.

Malcolm was the Director of the Office of Energy and Environment at the University of Regina from 2000 – 2010, prior to which he worked for Saskatchewan Energy and Mines for twenty years. He was instrumental in the creation of the IEAGHG Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project, a world recognised CO2 storage research project, including editing the final report of phase one.

Malcolm was a member of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the scientific team awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Al Gore. He also founded the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC), serving as its first Head. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Canada-Ukraine Centre, Inc. (CUC) and has been a contributor to the technology transfer project with Ukraine.

In 2009, Malcolm was awarded the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Award of Achievement for outstanding contributions to profession, community and the University of Saskatchewan.  In the same year, Saskatchewan Business Magazine named him one of Saskatchewan’s ten most influential men.

In 2013 he was recognised as one of five influential people in the Province’s oil industry. He was the joint winner of the 2006 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Synergy Award for his work with the International Test Centre for CO2 Capture, which he helped found and fund. 

About the author

Dr. Paitoon (P.T.) Tontiwachwuthikul received B.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from King Monkut’s Institute of Technology, Thonburi, Thailand. He received his M.Eng and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

He is a key international researcher in the technologies of advanced CO2 capture and separation from industrial gas streams; he has provided technical advice to governments and industries nationally and internationally. He is the co-founder of Clean Energy Technologies Research Institute or CETRI (formally known as the International Test Centre for CO2 Capture or ITC) in Canada.

He has served as Associate Editor of International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control (IJGGC, Elsevier), and as the guest editor of the IEA-GHG special issue on “IEA Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project (the world’s largest CO2 for EOR and CCS program)” of IJGGC, published in May 2013.

He and his team developed 8 patents (US and International) in the areas of advanced carbon capture processes and clean energy technologies; they completed an eBook on “Recent Progress and New Development of Post Combustion Carbon Capture (PCC) Technology Using Reactive Solvents”, published by Future Science (UK) in October 2013.

He has extensive experience in collaborative work with the industry. He was involved in the Research Consortium of ITC, which received in-kind and financial support from granting organizations such as NSERC (Strategic Projects, Discovery, RTI and IOR), Canada Research Chair Program, Canada Foundation of Innovation, NCE, PTRC, Telecommunications Research Laboratory (TRLabs), SaskPower, SaskEnergy/Transgas, City of Regina, EnCana, Saudi Aramco, Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) of Japan, Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), Natural Resources Canada, and Saskatchewan Energy and Resources.

He was awarded a NCE-Carbon Management Canada research grant in 2010, which supported the preliminary study on lifecycle assessment of the carbon capture technologies, and generated more than 10 publications on life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) and low-carbon energy development. In the past six years, his joint publications included 16 journal publications, 2 book chapters, and 10 conference papers. 

Journal Reference

Jarotwan Koiwanit1, Anastassia Manuilova2, Christine Chan1 , Malcolm Wilson2, Paitoon Tontiwachwuthikul. Human Health Risks of Post- and Oxy-Fuel Combustion Carbon Dioxide Capture Technologies: Hypothetically Modeled Scenarios. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Volume 47, April 2016, Pages 279–290.

Show Affiliations
  1. Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 0A2
  2. ArticCan Energy Services, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4S 0A2.

 

 

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