The Department of Energy has commissioned a testing facility as part of its National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) to enable research and development of post-combustion carbon dioxide capture technologies for coal-based power plants and to speed up their deployment.

The Post-Combustion Carbon Capture Center (PC4) facility at the Alabama Power Gaston power plant Unit 5, an 880-MW supercritical pulverized coal unit, began initial testing of a solvent called monoethanolamine (MEA), said Office of Fossil Energy’s Jenny Hakun on the DOE’s Energy Blog. MEA captures carbon dioxide from a slipstream of flue gas from the plant.

Initial results show that the solvent has exceeded a 90% capture rate. Tests will be used as a “baseline to evaluate other emerging CO2 capture technologies now that the unit is in steady operation and capturing about 10 tons of CO2 every day,” Hakun said.

The NCCC was established by the DOE in Wilsonville, Ala., in 2009. The center works with technology developers around the world to test and evaluate pre- and post-combustion carbon capture technologies.

Sources: POWERnews, DOE