Advancing Power Generation with Low-Cost Carbon Capture
June 28, 2017
Des Plaines, IL
Commissioning has been successfully completed on a new 1 megawatt thermal pilot plant in Ottawa, Canada to advance the development of an oxygen-fired pressurized fluidized bed combustion (Oxy-PFBC) process. The Oxy-PFBC process generates electricity and heat with near-zero emissions by economically capturing greenhouse gases created by biomass and coal combustion.
Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)/ CanmetENERGY-Ottawa, and others to validate the novel process, mature the technologies, and address technology gaps. The collaborative program between the U.S. and Canada aims to advance the commercialization of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies.
The pressurized combustion in oxygen and recycling of carbon dioxide gas eliminates the presence of nitrogen and other constituents of air, minimizing the generation of pollutants and enabling more economical CO2 capture. Oxy-combustion enables high-efficiency gas cleanup, while pressurization shrinks the equipment size and the cost. The combustor is expected to be one-third the size of a traditional combustor and less than half the cost, saving hundreds of millions of dollars for a commercial-scale plant.
These reductions in equipment costs are reflected in a lower cost of electricity. Compared with pre- and post-combustion carbon capture technologies, the cost of electricity is anticipated to be reduced by an additional 23 to 30 percent, eliminating much of the cost associated with carbon capture. Sale of the purified CO2 can reduce the penalty even further, possibly eliminating it altogether.
Even more important, pressurized fluidized bed combustion can result in electricity production from coal with near-zero emissions, while biomass-coal blends can achieve negative CO2 emissions. A commercial-scale plant is projected to capture CO2 emissions equivalent to removing 145,000 cars from the road.
Researchers previously completed a feasibility study, and efforts are now focusing on component development and pilot-plant testing. GTI designed the system, fabricated the Oxy-PFBC, and did the system modeling. The Ottawa test facility is hosted by CanmetENERGY, the R&D laboratory for NRCan with unique facilities to accommodate the system setup.
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