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Fossil Energy's carbon capture logo

DOE’s Carbon Capture Program, administered by the Office of Fossil Energy and implemented at the National Energy Technology Laboratory, is conducting research and development (R&D) activities on advanced carbon capture technologies that have the potential to provide step-change reductions in both cost and energy requirements as compared to currently available, 1st-Generation technologies.

Petra Nova Plant in Texas
The Petra Nova facility - the largest post-combustion capture project in the world (1.4 million tonnes of CO2 per year) - uses 1st-Generation technology to capture CO2 from a power plant near Houston, Texas

R&D efforts conducted within the Carbon Capture Program include development of four key technologies: advanced solvents, sorbents, membranes, and novel concepts. These key technologies are being developed for both the pre- and post-combustion technology areas. The program structure and general characteristics of pre- and post-combustion systems are summarized below:

NETL Carbon Capture Program Structure

R&D targets have been established for technologies being developed as follows:

  • 2nd-Generation Technologies—technologies currently in R&D (scheduled to become available for demonstration-scale testing around 2025 and available for deployment in the 2030 timeframe) that reduce cost of electricity (COE) by 20 percent compared to currently available technologies.
  • Transformational Technologies—emerging technologies in early stages of development that offer the potential for game-changing improvements in cost and performance (30 percent COE reduction), forecast to be available for demonstration-scale testing around 2030 and available for deployment in the 2035 timeframe.

The program represents a comprehensive, multipronged R&D approach that includes development of technologies suitable for fossil fuel-based power platforms as well as for industrial systems. R&D on a portfolio of technologies is being pursued to enhance the probability of success of research efforts that are operating at the boundaries of current scientific understanding.