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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected eight projects to receive funding to construct small- and large-scale pilots for reducing the cost of carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and compression through DOE’s Carbon Capture Program.
The Carbon Capture Program is developing technologies that will enable cost-effective implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the power generation sector and ensure that the United States will continue to have access to safe, reliable, and affordable energy from fossil fuels. The program consists of two core research technology areas, post-combustion capture and pre-combustion capture, and also supports related CO2 compression efforts. Current research and development efforts are advancing technologies that could provide step-change reductions in both cost and energy penalty compared to currently available technologies.
The selected projects focus on advancing the development of a suite of post-combustion CO2 capture and supersonic compression systems for new and existing coal-based electric generating plants, specifically: (1) supersonic compression systems, (2) small pilot-scale (from 0.5 to 5 MWe) post-combustion CO2 capture development and testing, and (3) large pilot-scale (from 10 to more than 25 MWe) post-combustion CO2 capture development and testing.
Project descriptions follow.
Supersonic Compression Systems
Dresser-Rand Company (Wellsville, NY) will design, build, and test a pilot-scale, supersonic CO2 compressor applicable to new and existing coal-based electric generating plants. The major benefits of the supersonic compressor include reduced capital costs, smaller footprint, and reduced parasitic plant impact. The compressor will also help to save and expand a compressor manufacturing and technology base in the United States, creating economic opportunity and jobs.
Cost: DOE: $4,000,000/ Non-DOE: $3,999,688/ Total Funding: $7,999,688
Small Pilot-Scale Post-Combustion Capture
FuelCell Energy Inc. (Danbury, CT) will design, fabricate, and test a small pilot-scale system that incorporates FuelCell Energy’s combined electric power and CO2 separation (CEPACS) system, based on electrochemical membrane (ECM) technology, to separate at least 90 percent of CO2 from a 3 MWe equivalent slipstream of pulverized coal plant flue gas and achieve 95 percent CO2 purity at a cost of $40/tonne of CO2 captured and at a cost of electricity 30 percent less than baseline CO2 capture approaches. Successful pilot-scale validation of the CEPACS system is expected to pave the path toward commercial deployment of cost-effective ECM technology for large scale coal-based carbon capture applications by 2025. Partner is AECOM.
Cost: DOE: $15,000,000/ Non-DOE: $8,728,906/ Total Funding: $23,728,906
Large Pilot-Scale Post-Combustion Capture
The projects selected under the Large Pilot-Scale Area of Interest were only selected for Phase 1. In FY2016, the recipients will submit their Phase 2 application to be considered for the full project.
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL) will capture approximately 500 tonnes per day of CO2 with a 90 percent capture rate from existing coal-fired boilers at the Abbott Power Plant on the campus of the University of Illinois using Linde/BASF’s cost-effective, energy-efficient, compact amine-based advanced CO2 capture absorption system. The successful completion of this project is expected to have significant impact on the speed of commercialization of this advanced solvent-based CO2 capture technology, and thereby meet the anticipated need for such plants beyond 2020. Partners are the Linde Group, BASF, Burns & McDonnell, and Affiliated Engineers Inc.
Cost: DOE: $1,000,000/ Non-DOE: $302,085/ Total Funding: $1,302,085
University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, KY) will design, fabricate, install, and test a large-pilot facility that will illustrate an innovative carbon capture system integrated with an operating power plant. The novel concepts used in this project will improve the overall plant efficiency when integrated with a CO2 capture system and can be utilized to retrofit existing coal-fired power plants. Partners are Electric Power Research Institute, Koch Modular Process Systems, WorleyParsons, Smith Management Group, and CMTA Consulting Engineers.
Cost: DOE: $999,070/ Non-DOE: $250,716/ Total Funding: $1,249,786
NRG Energy Inc. (Princeton, NJ) will team with Inventys to install Inventys’s VeloxoTherm™ post-combustion project at one of its Gulf Coast coal plants to process a 10 MWe slipstream of coal flue gas to separate the CO2. This project is intended to prove that the cost of capture, both from an upfront capital requirement as well as from an operating standpoint, is lower using this new post-combustion capture process when compared to existing baseline technologies. A secondary benefit is to show that this technology has a reduced footprint in comparison to competing baseline technologies.
Cost: DOE: $1,000,000/ Non DOE: $250,000/ Total Funding: $1,250,000
Alstom Power Inc. (Windsor, CT) will conduct a 3-year large-scale pilot-plant program to implement several concepts for improving the attractiveness and lowering the overall cost of Alstom’s chilled ammonia process (CAP) CO2 capture technology. Alstom’s CAP has shown the ability to achieve greater than 90 percent CO2 capture while producing a high purity CO2 product stream. Partners are Technology Centre Mongstad, Georgia Institute of Technology, General Electric Power & Water—Purecowater, and ElectroSep Inc.
Cost: DOE: $922,709/ Non-DOE: $324,195/ Total Funding: $1,246,904
Southern Company Services (SCS) (Birmingham, AL) will test improvements to CCS processes using an existing 25 MWe, amine-based CO2 capture process at SCS’s Plant Barry. The project will address key technical challenges of current CCS technologies, including high steam consumption, solvent degradation due to flue gas contaminants, and large process footprints. The project researchers aim to improve upon the current state of the art of solvent-based processes by making significant progress towards meeting DOE’s goals. Partners are AECOM and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America.
Cost: DOE: $707,207/ Non-DOE: $141,441/ Total Funding: $848,648
General Electric Company—GE Global Research (Oklahoma City, OK) will do validation testing of its aminosilicone CO2 capture system, a non-aqueous chemical solvent, at large pilot-scale at an operating plant. A successful test will achieve two important results: (1) a closed heat and material balance that will validate performance claims, and (2) sustained operation and performance that will de-risk the technology. A validated aminosilicone system will represent a value proposition relative to aqueous amines in certain applications and enable commercial deployments on a short time frame. Partner is CO2 Capture Centre Mongstad.
Cost: DOE: $982,040/ Non-DOE: $245,510/ Total Funding: $1,227,550