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US Department of Energy to fund six carbon capture technologies

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World Coal,

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected six projects to receive US$17.6 million in federal funding under the Office of Fossil Energy’s Novel and Enabling Carbon Capture Transformational Technologies funding opportunity announcement (FOA).

This FOA will address the cost and operational challenges associated with current CO2 capture technologies that are commercially available for industry, providing for additional development to these technologies at coal-fired power plants. Some of the challenges that will be addressed include a need to improve the reliability and operational flexibility; reduce high capital costs; and reduce the high-energy penalty associated with operating existing technology.

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the selected projects, which will concentrate on transformational technologies that fall under two areas of interest. Area of Interest 1 focuses on developing transformational materials and processes for CO2 capture that will enable step-change reductions in the capital and energy cost. Area of Interest 2 focuses on enabling technologies that facilitate improved performance of transformational CO2 capture processes to reduce capital cost and energy penalties, and improve operational reliability and flexibility.

The following five projects were selected under Area of Interest 1:

Development and Bench-Scale Testing of a Novel Biphasic Solvent-Enabled Absorption Process for Post-Combustion Carbon CaptureThe Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Champaign, Illinois) will advance the development of the transformational biphasic CO2 absorption process (BiCAP) technology. It will also validate its technical advantages by testing an integrated BiCAP system at a bench scale in an actual flue gas environment. BiCAP is a post-combustion CO2 capture technology that has the energy efficiency advantage of a phase-transition process, while incurring low equipment and operating costs.

DOE: US$2 999 941; Non-DOE: US$750 052; Total: US$3 749 993

Bench-Scale Development of a Transformational Graphene Oxide-Based Membrane Process for Post-Combustion CO2 CaptureInstitute of Gas Technology dba Gas Technology Institute (GTI) (Des Plaines, Illinois) will develop a transformational graphene oxide (GO)-based membrane process for installation in new, or retrofit into existing, pulverised coal (PC) or natural gas power plants. The process will be used for CO2 capture with 95% CO2 purity. The proposed transformational GO-based membrane process (designated as GO2) integrates the GO-1 and GO-2 membranes and will offer a new opportunity to explore further reductions in the cost of CO2 capture. The successful development of the proposed technology will enable cost-effective capture of CO2 from flue gases.

DOE: US$2 914 074; Non-DOE: US$728 738; Total: US$3 642 812

Development of Self-Assembly Isoporous Supports Enabling Transformational Membrane Performance for Cost-Effective Carbon CaptureMembrane Technology and Research, Inc. (MTR) (Newark, California) will develop composite membranes with a transformational performance to reduce the cost of CO2 capture. The project consists of two parallel technology developments. The first development is to double membrane permeance by replacing conventional porous supports used to fabricate composite membranes with novel isoporous supports. The isoporous supports could overcome flow restrictions in conventional supports that hinder further improvement in carbon capture membranes. The second development is to double the mixed-gas selectivity of the MTR Polaris membrane by building on recent new materials work conducted at the University of New York at Buffalo.

DOE: US$2 907 219; Non-DOE: US$726 805; Total: US$3 634 024

Mixed-Salt-Based Transformational Solvent Technology for CO2 CaptureSRI International (Menlo Park, California) will develop a water-lean, mixed-salt-based transformational solvent technology that will provide a step-change reduction in the CO2 capture cost and energy penalty. The proposed new formulation should further improve the economics of CO2 capture. The project team includes experts from SRI International (US), SINTEF (Norway), Technical University of Denmark (Denmark), OLI Systems (US), and Trimeric Corporation (US), representing premier research organisations, academia, and industry.

DOE: US$2 999 922; Non-DOE: US$782 817; Total: US$3 782 739

A Process with Decoupling Absorber Kinetics and Solvent Regeneration Through Membrane Dewatering and In-Column Heat TransferUniversity of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, Kentucky) is developing an intensified process to significantly reduce the capital and operational costs associated with CO2 capture. This process could be applied to most advanced solvents (aqueous or non-aqueous) and flue gas derived from either coal or natural gas combustion. The integrated process consists of a temperature-controlled absorber; a membrane-based dewatering unit; and a multiple-feed pressurised stripper. The successful development of the proposed technology will include continued use of abundant, low-cost coal to produce reliable electricity, while affordably meeting and managing environmental concerns. Major participants include the University of Kentucky Research Foundation, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Media and Process Technology, Smith Management Group, and Trimeric.

DOE: US$2 998 293; Non-DOE: US$750 642; Total: US$3 748 935

The following project was selected under Area of Interest 2:

Flue Gas Aerosol Pre-Treatment Technologies to Minimize Post-Combustion CO2 Capture Solvent LossesLinde, LLC (Murray Hill, New Jersey) will research, develop, and validate enabling technologies for solvent aerosol emission mitigation of coal-based flue gas. The project will evaluate two flue gas aerosol mitigation technologies that have the potential to significantly reduce flue gas aerosol concentrations – which have been shown to contribute to amine losses in solvent-based post-combustion CO2 capture systems. The results will be used to benchmark the performance and cost of these technologies against existing options for pretreatment of coal-based flue gas for aerosol mitigation. The impact of this reduction in aerosol concentrations could be leveraged across a variety of solvent-based post-combustion CO2 capture systems to minimise solvent losses.

DOE: US$2 787 742; Non-DOE: US$696 936; Total: US$3 484 678

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