Progress on cost and performance demonstrated at US DOE Project Review Meeting

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The US Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (US DOE/NETL) held its annual Carbon Capture R&D Program Technology Project Review Meeting from 8 to 12 August, in Pittsburgh, PA, US. Nearly 200 registrants had the opportunity to hear 75 presentations – mostly describing progress on specific NETL-funded R&D projects. The meeting demonstrated that the program is making significant progress in achieving DOE’s cost and performance goals.

The scale of the projects presented ranged from desktop studies through large pilot scale (25 MW) and included pre-, post-, and oxy-combustion systems. Approaches considered included advanced aqueous solvents, non-aqueous solvents, solid sorbents, membranes, hybrid systems, pressurised oxy-combustion, and chemical looping.

The meeting program reflected DOE’s approach of advancing 2nd generation technologies that will reduce capture costs by approximately 20 percent and be ready for demonstration in the 2025 time frame. At the same time transformational technologies are being developed that will result in 30 percent cost reductions and be ready for demonstration in the post-2030 time frame.

The meeting highlights included presentations from the six projects selected a year ago for potential large pilot scale testing. The six projects included:

  • Alstom’s chilled ammonia technology
  • GE’s aminosilicone solvent-based technology
  • NRG/Inventys’ solid sorbent-based technology
  • Linde/BASF’s advanced amine-based technology
  • University of Kentucky’s advanced amine/heat integration technology
  • Southern Company’s advanced amine technology

Phase 1 funding for these projects was devoted to technology gap analyses and techno-economic analyses in support of proposals for Phase 2 funding that will go to design, construction, and operation of large pilot scale systems. As a result of the Phase 1 analyses, three of the development teams (Alstom, GE, and NRG/Inventys) determined that further testing and analysis at bench and small pilot scale is needed prior to pursuit of large pilot scale testing. The remaining teams have submitted proposals for Phase 2 support, and selections are expected very soon (early September at the latest).

While the ideal outcome of this process would have been that all six technologies were ready for large pilot scale testing, the fact that three technologies are making significant progress toward meeting DOE cost and performance goals is encouraging. In addition, the three technologies that did not submit Phase 2 proposals are still advancing – they simply need additional testing at smaller scale before moving on to larger scale.

The presentations from the meeting can be accessed from US DOE/NETL website