COMCAT: Control, Optimisation and Measurement in CO2 Absorber Transients

  • Supervisors: Jon Gibbins, Hannah Chalmers, Stefano Brandani, Mathieu Lucquiaud (University of Edinburgh), Graeme White (Heriot-Watt University)
  • Sponsor Company: Doosan Power
  • PhD Student: Bill Buschle
  • This student has graduated and the project is complete.

CO2 post-combustion capture systems on power plants are unlikely to operate at true steady state for any length of time.  Even if the power plant output is nominally stable then factors such as changes in coal properties, firing patterns, excess air levels and ambient temperatures will all cause changes in operating conditions.

Additionally, power plants and their associated CO2 capture systems are likely to be changing output and shutting down for periods in response to electricity market conditions.  There has been very little work to identify appropriate control strategies for plants operating in these dynamic conditions but a promising option is to exploit the freedom offered by post-combustion capture to drive the capture plant through a trajectory of changing operating states while keeping within environmental regulations.  

This approach makes the most possible money for the operator but instrumentation for such precise and rapid control is a key factor.  This project will therefore identify appropriate sites for sensors and develop methods for rapid, accurate interpretation of the results that can be implemented through conventional commercial instrumentation and control systems.  The student will work closely with Doosan Power engineers at Renfrew and the CCPilot100+ plant at Ferrybridge.