Performance and cost of CCS in the pulp and paper industry part 2: Economic feasibility of amine-based post-combustion CO2 capture

Kristin Onarheim, Stanley Santos, Petteri Kangas, Ville Hankalin

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    38 Citations (Scopus)


    The economic feasibility of retrofitting an amine based post-combustion CO2 capture process to an existing Kraft pulp mill and an existing integrated pulp and board mill has been assessed. This study builds on the technical assessment of the energy performance of the mills when retrofitting a post-combustion CO2 capture process by Onarheim et al. (2017). Between 75 to 100% of the CO2 emissions from the pulp and paper industry originate from the combustion of biomass. If the raw material is sourced sustainably, these emissions are categorized as carbon neutral. Applying sustainably managed biomass in the pulp and paper processes and capturing the resulting CO2 for permanent storage enables the industry to go carbon negative. In this study, the economic impact of retrofitting CO2 capture from the flue gases of the recovery boiler, the multi-fuel boiler and the lime kiln were assessed. The levelized cost of pulp and the cost of CO2 avoided were evaluated based on six different scenarios varying the CO2 tax, incentives for renewable electricity production, with and without recognizing biogenic CO2 emissions as neutral (exempting CO2 emissions from tax or not), and rewarding captured and permanently stored CO2 with negative emissions credit. Results show that the pulp and paper industry has a potential for realizing feasible implementation of large-scale industrial Bio-CCS. For cases where 60-90% of total site CO2 emissions are captured, the cost of avoided CO2 amounts to 52-66/t for the Kraft pulp mill and 71-89/t for the integrated pulp and board mill. The cost of avoided CO2, and thus the realization of Bio-CCS in the pulp and paper industry, is strongly dependent on prevailing policy frameworks such as the EU ETS. In order to reach a levelized cost of pulp similar to the reference mill without CO2 capture, a negative CO2 emission credit of 60-70/t CO2 for the Kraft pulp mill and 70-80/t CO2 for the integrated pulp and board mill will be required. As long as biogenic CO2 emissions that are captured and permanently stored are not recognized as negative and rewarded accordingly there is no economic incentive for the owners of pulp and paper mills to implement CCS. The only way to get the pulp and paper industry to implement and deploy Bio-CCS will need the support of the decision-makers in promoting the right policy framework and regulations to encourage the investment such as strong incentives for negative emissions which are bankable during the long term operation of the mills.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-75
    JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    This work was carried out under the Finnish Carbon Capture and Storage Program (CCSP) research program coordinated by CLIC Innovation Oy with funding from Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation and in collaboration with the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme (IEA GHG).


    • Pulp and paper
    • Bio-CCS
    • Levelized cost of pulp
    • CO2 avoided
    • EU ETS
    • Negative emissions
    • Negative emissions credit
    • CO avoided


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