Can the CO2 gases be recovered from the exhaust of a
cogeneration plant (combined heat & power system - reciprocating engine)
that is being powered from the methane gas being gathered from a landfill
site? Any information that you can send me on this subject would be
I have not been involved with the cogen area for some time, but here goes.
Unless the message author knows for a fact that the cogeneration plant in
question involves a reciprocating engine, I think he has some facts wrong.
Large scale cogeneration plants normally provide process heat (directly or
via a steam generation cycle) and electrical power--hence the term
cogeneration. Cogen plants are normally powered by combustion turbines and
not reciprocating engines, but the author may have a plant in mind that uses
such an engine. It is more likely that methane from a landfill operation is
being piped to a turbine engine to provide the basic power in the plant. The
exhaust heat from the turbine (?) provides the process heat for one function
and the turbine drives a generator that provides the electricity for the
second function. I know the turbine would produce CO, but am not sure about
the CO2, which the author speaks of. I do not recall from my days long ago
at an engineering firm if either the CO or CO2 was able to be recovered or
if it was economically viable to do so.
For further reference, I would refer the person to the Electric Power
Research Insititute (EPRI) in California, or a large architect-engineering
firm like Sargent & Lundy in Chicago, Black & Veatch in Kansas City, MO, or
Burns and McDonnell in St. Louis or Kansas City that deals with the design
of fossil plants, cogeneration plants, and other industrial heat or
electricity plants. Sorry I could not do better directly.
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Update: June 2012