The CSIRO has released a report into a four-year, $21 million research study into the viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology offsetting and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s coal-fired power stations.


The report confirms that post-combustion carbon dioxide capture (PCC) technology operates effectively and efficiently under Australian conditions and is now available to the industry as the first stage in the CCS chain.


The program, funded through the Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP) on Clean Development and Climate and supported by a grant from the Department of Resource, Energy and Tourism (DRET), enabled two PCC plants to be successfully established and operated at existing Australian power stations - at Delta Electricity’s Munmorah power station in NSW and at Stanwell Corp’s Tarong power station in Queensland.


The results showed that the PCC technology was able to capture more than 85 per cent of carbon dioxide from the power station flue gases along with other gases such as sulphur dioxide, can be fitted to both new and existing power stations, has flexible application according to changing consumer demand in the electricity market and can use renewable energy such as solar thermal as a power source.