This paper discusses novel schemes of combined cycle, where natural gas is chemically treated to remove carbon, rather than being directly used as fuel. Carbon conversion to CO2 is achieved before gas turbine combustion. The first part of the paper discussed plant configurations based on natural gas partial oxidation to produce carbon monoxide, converted to carbon dioxide by shift reaction and therefore separated from the fuel gas. The second part will address methane reforming as a starting reaction to achieve the same goal. Plant configuration and performance differs from previous case because reforming is endothermic and requires high temperature heat and low operating pressure to obtain an elevated carbon conversion.
The performance estimation shows that the reformer configuration has a lower efficiency and power output than the systems addressed in Part A. To improve the results, a reheat gas turbine can be used, with different characteristics from commercial machines. The thermodynamic efficiency of the systems of the two papers is compared by an exergetic analysis.
The economic performance of natural gas fired power plants including CO2 sequestration are therefore addressed, finding a superiority of the partial oxidation system with chemical absorption. The additional cost of the kWh, due to the ability of CO2 capturing, can be estimated at about 13–14 mill$/kWh.