CO2 intensity

Size-for-size, the most efficient means of converting fuel energy to electricity is by using large compression ignition (diesel) engines. Coal and other sources of carbon could also be used to fuel these engines, if micronised and refined to remove most of the mineral matter (i.e. ash content), and dispersed in water to produce a slurry fuel. This fuel is called micronised refined carbon or MRC (to differentiate it from coarser grain size and lower quality coal water slurry fuels produced for boilers).

CO2 Intensity Reduction with DICE

The use of MRC would enable a delivered efficiency (from resource through to delivered electricity) of around 50% HHV, and with a CO2 emission rate of 670-700 kg/MWh – a level that is significantly lower than new conventional coal technologies (a 20-25% saving compared to new coal plants), and comparable to open cycle natural gas turbines (see figure above).

The CO2 savings from DICE are even greater when compared to most existing coal-fired power plants, and savings of 30-35% are likely when replacing existing black coal plants, and around 50% when used to replace current brown coal plants (especially those in Victoria).

Integrated carbon management

The efficiency and flexibility of DICE provides a range of options for carbon management. These include:

  • the use of a range of biomass carbons as fuel and provide options for bio-CCS as soil carbon,
  • reduced production of CO2 during generation from the higher efficiency and outstanding grid support to allow a high penetration of renewables - without inefficiencies from part load operation or storage losses, and
  • energy efficient CO2 capture

These features give a DICE-based electricity grid the potential for net negative CO2 emissions, for example as shown below.

Victorian CO2 reduction with DICE