Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 213–226 | Cite as

Environmental assessment of a combined heat and power plant configuration proposal with post-combustion CO2 capture for the Mexican oil and gas industry

  • M. A. Morales-MoraEmail author
  • C. F. Pretelìn-Vergara
  • S. A. Martínez-Delgadillo
  • C. Iuga
  • C. Nolasco-Hipolito
Original Paper


Combined heat and power (CHP) plants retrofitted with post-combustion carbon capture (PCC) are discussed for the Mexican oil and gas industry using a life cycle assessment. This work investigates the energy efficiency improvements and potential environmental impacts generated by a 144-MW CHP plant coupled with PCC in a petrochemical complex. The project considers a change from the current steam-turbine generators (case 1), with an efficiency of 58%, to a gas turbine (case 2) coupled to a heat recovery steam generator to reach a combined efficiency of 87%. We also investigated the PCC of flue gas from the gas turbine in case 2 by chemical absorption using Aspen HYSYS (case 3). The results showed that case 2 leads to a reduction in all evaluated categories of environmental impact when compared to the base case (case 1). The average global warming potential (GWP) is 626 kgCO2eq/MWh for case 1 and 460 kgCO2e/MWh for case 2. In case 3, the GWP of 42 kg CO2e/MWh was estimated, 1075 t/day of CO2 can be captured with a recovery efficiency of approximately 95%, and an energy return of 85% can be obtained. This study provides a new approach for obtaining maximum energy flux with low-carbon emissions, constituting “clean energy” production.

Graphical abstract


CO2 capture Gas turbine Life cycle assessment Process simulation Steam-turbine 



CO2 capture utilization


CO2 capture storage


Combined heat and power


Front-end engineering design


Functional unit


Gas turbine


Greenhouse gases


Global warming potential


Heat recovery steam generator


International Energy Agency


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Intended nationally determined contributions


National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


International Organisation for Standardisation


Life cycle assessment


Life cycle inventory


Life cycle impact assessment


Megawatts per hour


Petróleos Mexicanos


Post-combustion carbon capture


Process simulations


Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources


Steam turbines


United States Environmental Protection Agency



The authors would like to thank the Life Cycle Assessment and Sustainable Design Centre (CADIS) for their support toward the development of this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dirección AcadémicaPueblaMexico
  2. 2.Facultad de Ingeniería QuímicaBenemérita Universidad Autónoma de PueblaPueblaMexico
  3. 3.Depto. Ciencias BásicasUniversidad Autónoma Metropolitana-AzcapotzalcoCiudad de MexicoMexico
  4. 4.Depto. Sistemas BiológicosUniversidad Autónoma Metropolitana-XochimilcoCiudad de MexicoMexico
  5. 5.Instituto de BiotecnologíaUniversidad del PapaloapanTuxtepecMexico

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