Natural Gas Power Plant with CCS

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Natural gas with CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from natural gas power plants and other natural gas-based processes, preventing them from entering the atmosphere. The captured CO2 is then stored permanently underground in geological formations, such as depleted oil and gas reservoirs or saline aquifers. This approach offers a way to reduce the carbon footprint of natural gas, a fossil fuel that emits less CO2 than coal but still contributes to climate change.

Impact on climate action

Natural Gas with CCS within Low-Carbon Thermal Power advances climate action by reducing emissions from fossil fuel combustion. By capturing and storing CO2 emissions, this innovation mitigates greenhouse gas emissions, enables cleaner energy production, and facilitates the transition to a low-carbon energy system, combating climate change impacts.


  • CO2 Capture: CO2 is captured from natural gas flue gas streams using various technologies, including:
    • Post-combustion capture: This method captures CO2 after the natural gas has been burned, typically using chemical solvents or membranes to separate CO2 from other flue gas components.
    • Pre-combustion capture: This method captures CO2 before the natural gas is burned, typically by converting the natural gas into a mixture of hydrogen and CO2, and then separating the CO2.
  • CO2 Transportation: The captured CO2 is transported to a storage site, typically via pipelines.
  • CO2 Storage: CO2 is injected and stored permanently underground in geological formations.

TRL : 7-8

Prominent Innovation themes

  • Advanced Capture Technologies: Researchers and startups are developing more efficient and cost-effective CO2 capture technologies for natural gas applications, such as advanced solvents, membranes, and sorbents.
  • CO2 Pipeline Infrastructure: Expanding CO2 pipeline infrastructure is crucial for transporting captured CO2 to storage sites.
  • Monitoring and Verification Technologies: Technologies are being developed to monitor and verify the safe and permanent storage of CO2 underground.
  • Natural Gas Reforming with CCS: Integrating CCS with natural gas reforming processes can produce low-carbon hydrogen, which can be used as a clean fuel or feedstock for various applications.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Membrane Technologies for CO2 Separation
  • Pre-Combustion Capture Methods
  • Expansion of CO2 Pipeline Infrastructure
  • Monitoring and Verification Tools for Storage
  • Integration of CCS with Natural Gas Reforming
  • Supercritical CO2 Working Fluids for Efficiency
  • Post-Combustion Capture Using Amine-Based Solvents

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  1. NET Power:
    • Technology Enhancement: NET Power is known for its innovative Allam Cycle technology, which generates electricity from natural gas with zero atmospheric emissions. The Allam Cycle utilizes a high-pressure, oxy-fuel, supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) cycle to produce electricity, capturing CO2 as a byproduct. The captured CO2 can then be stored underground or utilized in industrial processes.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: NET Power stands out for its approach to natural gas power generation with integrated carbon capture, which enables the production of low-cost electricity without emissions. Their technology addresses the challenge of decarbonizing the power sector while maintaining energy affordability and grid reliability.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: NET Power targets utilities, independent power producers (IPPs), and industrial facilities seeking low-carbon electricity generation solutions. Their Allam Cycle technology offers a cost-effective and scalable pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas power plants.
  2. 8 Rivers Capital:
    • Technology Enhancement: 8 Rivers Capital is an investment firm that develops and commercializes advanced technology solutions for various industries, including energy and environment. Their flagship technology, the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle, is similar to the Allam Cycle developed by NET Power. It utilizes supercritical CO2 for power generation from natural gas, with integrated carbon capture capabilities.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: 8 Rivers Capital stands out for its focus on developing transformative technology solutions to address climate change and sustainability challenges. Their Allam-Fetvedt Cycle offers a novel approach to natural gas power generation with carbon capture, providing a pathway to decarbonize energy-intensive sectors such as power generation, industrial processes, and transportation.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: 8 Rivers Capital collaborates with technology partners, investors, and end-users across various industries to deploy innovative solutions for decarbonization and sustainable development. Their Allam-Fetvedt Cycle technology has potential applications in power generation, industrial manufacturing, and carbon capture projects worldwide.
  3. Shell Cansolv:
    • Technology Enhancement: Shell Cansolv specializes in gas treatment solutions, including carbon capture technology for natural gas and industrial emissions. Their proprietary amine-based solvent technology captures CO2 from flue gas streams, enabling emissions reduction and carbon capture for storage or utilization.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Shell Cansolv stands out for its expertise in gas treatment and carbon capture technology, offering scalable and cost-effective solutions for emissions reduction in various industries. Their technology can be integrated into natural gas processing plants, power plants, and industrial facilities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and comply with regulatory requirements.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Shell Cansolv serves energy companies, utilities, and industrial facilities seeking to reduce emissions and enhance environmental performance. Their carbon capture solutions enable end-users to minimize their carbon footprint, meet emission targets, and contribute to climate change mitigation efforts.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
    • Research Focus: MIT is a pioneering institution in researching Natural Gas with CCS, focusing on developing advanced technologies and strategies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas-fired power plants through carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves exploring novel carbon capture technologies, such as solvent-based absorption, membrane separation, and chemical looping combustion, tailored specifically for natural gas-derived flue gases. Additionally, MIT investigates optimized storage sites, geological formations, and monitoring techniques to ensure the safe and effective sequestration of captured CO2.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in power generation, industrial processes, and carbon management. By enabling the decarbonization of natural gas-based electricity generation, MIT’s research contributes to achieving emissions reduction targets, enhancing energy security, and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.
  2. Stanford University:
    • Research Focus: Stanford University conducts innovative research on Natural Gas with CCS, leveraging its expertise in energy systems, geosciences, and policy analysis to develop integrated solutions for reducing carbon emissions from natural gas utilization while ensuring energy reliability and affordability.
    • Uniqueness: Their research encompasses techno-economic assessments, life cycle analyses, and policy evaluations to identify the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable pathways for deploying CCS technologies in conjunction with natural gas-fired power generation. They also investigate potential synergies with renewable energy sources, grid flexibility measures, and carbon utilization pathways to optimize the overall energy transition.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in electricity markets, carbon markets, and climate policy. By advancing Natural Gas with CCS, Stanford’s research supports the decarbonization of electricity systems, facilitates the integration of intermittent renewables, and provides scalable solutions for reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion.
  3. University of Texas at Austin:
    • Research Focus: The University of Texas at Austin is engaged in cutting-edge research on Natural Gas with CCS, leveraging its multidisciplinary expertise in engineering, geosciences, and environmental sciences to address technical, economic, and regulatory challenges associated with carbon capture and storage technologies.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves developing advanced capture processes, materials, and sorbents for capturing CO2 from natural gas flue gases with high efficiency and low energy penalty. They also investigate geologic reservoir characterization, modeling, and risk assessment to identify suitable CO2 storage sites and ensure long-term containment and integrity.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in power plant retrofits, emissions trading, and climate mitigation policies. By advancing Natural Gas with CCS technologies, the University of Texas at Austin’s research contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing energy resilience, and fostering sustainable development pathways for natural gas utilization.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Several commercial-scale natural gas power plants with CCS are already in operation around the world. For example, the Petra Nova project in Texas captures CO2 from a coal-fired power plant and uses it for enhanced oil recovery. Additionally, several natural gas processing plants are equipped with CCS technology to capture CO2 emissions.