Carbon Capture Projects Receive Federal Funds

The bulk of newly announced federal funding for research and development of carbon capture technologies will be committed to post-combustion capture, pre-combustion capture, and biological carbon dioxide (CO2) use.

The Energy Department on Aug. 13 outlined 16 projects that it chose to receive funding through the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL’s) Carbon Capture Program. The DOE will provide about $29.3 million of the total $37.4 million in funds for the projects.

The projects fall under five subtopic areas: laboratory scale, post-combustion capture; laboratory scale, pre-combustion capture; bench-scale, post-combustion capture; and bench-scale, pre-combustion capture; and biological carbon dioxide use/conversion.

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A bench-scale, post-combustion capture project that will test a novel Air Liquide membrane material for application in the Delaware-based company’s hybrid CO2 capture process will receive the most funds ($3.9 million total; $3 million from the DOE). The 36-month-long project combines cold membrane operation with an integrated CO2 compression and purification unit to significantly reduce the overall cost of capture. Field testing will occur at the National Carbon Capture Center with real flue gas.

Also noteworthy is another bench-scale, post-combustion capture project that will last 30 months to develop a non-aqueous solvent CO2 capture process for coal-fired power plants. Research Triangle Institute, Norwegian research firm SINTEF, and Linde will test a non-aqueous solvent (NAS)–based CO2 capture process using actual coal-derived flue gas at a SINTEF pilot plant facility. “The NAS development involves several amine-based NAS formulations and represents a disruptive advance in CO2 capture to meet DOE’s mission to lower the cost associated with reducing CO2 emissions from existing coal-fired power plants,” the agency said. The DOE will provide about $2.7 million of the total $3.6 million total cost.

Among pre-combustion capture projects is a bench-scale project to develop a hydrogen semi-permeable zeolite membrane reactor. Field testing will occur at the National Carbon Capture Center with real syngas. The DOE’s share of the $2.8 million project is $2.2 million.

The funding will also go to a project to study microalgae-based CO2 capture with conversion of the resulting algal biomass to fuels and bioplastics. The goal is for that $1.3 million project to yield a conceptual design for an algae-based CO2 capture system suitable for integration with a coal-fired power plant.

Meanwhile, in another $1.1 million project, California-based MicroBio Engineering will integrate microalgal production systems into the Orlando (Florida) Utilities Commission Stanton Energy Center coal-fired power plant and study their ability to use and mitigate CO2 emissions from flue gas.

See a full list of the projects here. 

Sonal Patel, associate editor (@POWERmagazine, @sonalcpatel)