International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2572

Full Length Research Paper

A life cycle assessment of a coal fired power plant with carbon capture and storage in Mexico

Jessica R. Stanley1* and Moisés Dávila-Serrano2
  1MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives, MIT-Mexico Program, Cambridge, USA. 2Federal Commission of Electricity, Mexico City, Mexico.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 September 2012
  •  Published: 30 October 2012



A life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted for three cases with the goal of assessing the environmental viability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity infrastructure in Mexico. Case 1 is standard coal fired power plant, 350 MW and 35.7% efficiency. Case 2 is the same power plant with facilities for carbon dioxide capture using absorption by the solvent monoethanolamine (MEA), compression of the collected gas, transport by pipeline, and injection for geologic storage into a deep saline aquifer. Case 3 is the same power plant and capture and transport system as Case 2, but instead with injection for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in an oilfield.  CCS was able to reduce the global warming potential (GWP) of the power plant by 75%, while also reducing impacts of acidification and photochemical oxidation. However, impacts in all other categories explored were raised significantly. Sensitivity analysis indicates that increasing plant efficiency reduces impacts for all categories, and it is suggested that CCS in Mexico be investigated in conjunction with increasing plant efficiency.


Key words: Mexico, carbon capture and storage, life cycle assessment, electricity generation, environmental impact.