The DOE on Tuesday announced it would grant $575 million in Recovery Act funds to 22 projects in 15 states to accelerate carbon capture and storage (CCS) research and development. The projects are expected to complement industrial demonstration projects already being funded by the Recovery Act, but most have power plant applications.
The projects cover four aspects of CCS research and development: large-scale testing of advanced gasification technologies ($312 million); advanced turbo-machinery to lower emissions from industrial sources ($123 million); post-combustion CO2 capture with increased efficiencies and decreased costs ($90 million); and geologic storage site characterization ($50 million)
Among the projects being funded are these:
- Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (Allentown, Penn.) – Development of Ion Transport Membranes (ITM) Oxygen Technology for Integration with Advanced Industrial Systems
Air Products will accelerate commercial manufacture of ion transport membranes modules and initiate the development of a 2,000 tons per day (TPD) pre-commercial scale facility ahead of schedule, enabling this technology to enter the marketplace at least two years earlier than previously projected. The ITM technology will produce oxygen at higher efficiencies and at lower capital and operating costs than state-of-the-art cryogenic oxygen production systems, benefitting domestic oxygen-intensive industrial processes in terms of cost, efficiency, and productivity improvements, such as those involved in the making of aluminum, glass, and steel via the use of this advanced technology. Successful development of ITM will also lower the cost of oxy-combustion configurations, enabling lower cost CO2 capture. This project will receive $71.7 million in funding.
- Ramgen Power Systems (Bellevue, Wash.) – Ramgen Supersonic Shock Wave Compression and Engine Technology
This additional project expansion will focus on incorporating the supersonic compression technology into an engine. By following a dual track development on the compressor for applications of CO2 compression only and incorporation into an engine that can run with oxygen and fuel, producing a high concentration of CO2 for subsequent supersonic compression, the technology risk is greatly reduced, leading to a higher potential of success for the base compressor design and its ability to be used in industrial CCS applications. Thus, this project will demonstrate the compression technology in an engine versus a conventional CO2 compression process. Because this technology has more than one purpose, developers are able to gain valuable knowledge about scaling up this compression technology. This project will receive $30 million in funding.
- Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (Menlo Park, CA) – Pilot Testing of a Membrane System for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture
Membrane Technology and Research (MTR) and partners will demonstrate a membrane process to separate CO2 from industrial- and utility-scale processes including boilers, cement manufacturing, steel and aluminum production and chemical refining. MTR will design, construct and test a 1 MWe equivalent gas flow membrane skid capable of 90 percent CO2 capture from a slipstream of coal-fired flue gas. A six-month field test using the test skid will be conducted at Arizona Public Service’s (APS) Cholla Power Plant. Additionally, a small slipstream test will be performed at the National Carbon Capture Center to validate membrane performance. This project will provide sufficient performance data to allow a thorough technical and economic evaluation of the membrane capture process and will verify the relative potential of this approach. This project receive $15 million in funding.
- University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas) – Gulf of Mexico Miocene CO2 Site Characterization Mega Transect
The University of Texas at Austin will conduct a regional evaluation of storage opportunities in Miocene-age formations with a focus on specific reservoirs, once identified. The project will lease currently available regional 3D seismic data and acquire a new seismic acquisition system (P-Cable) that is optimized for ultra-high resolution 3D and 4D seismic imaging of shallow and mid-range depths to allow detection of shallow structural features. Both types of data will help to develop baseline assessments of the target formations to measure and monitor their characteristics and validate them for future industrial CCS injection operations. This project will receive $5 million in funding.