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Title: Bench-scale Development of an Advanced Solid Sorbent-based CO2 Capture Process for Coal-fired Power Plants

It is increasingly clear that CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) must play a critical role in curbing worldwide CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Development of these technologies to cost-effectively remove CO2 from coal-fired power plants is very important to mitigating the impact these power plants have within the world’s power generation portfolio. Currently, conventional CO2 capture technologies, such as aqueous-monoethanolamine based solvent systems, are prohibitively expensive and if implemented could result in a 75 to 100% increase in the cost of electricity for consumers worldwide. Solid sorbent CO2 capture processes – such as RTI’s Advanced Solid Sorbent CO2, Capture Process – are promising alternatives to conventional, liquid solvents. Supported amine sorbents – of the nature RTI has developed – are particularly attractive due to their high CO2 loadings, low heat capacities, reduced corrosivity/volatility and the potential to reduce the regeneration energy needed to carry out CO2 capture. Previous work in this area has failed to adequately address various technology challenges such as sorbent stability and regenerability, sorbent scale-up, improved physical strength and attrition-resistance, proper heat management and temperature control, proper solids handling and circulation control, as well as the proper coupling of process engineering advancements that are tailored for amore » promising sorbent technology. The remaining challenges for these sorbent processes have provided the framework for the project team’s research and development and target for advancing the technology beyond lab- and bench-scale testing. Under a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy, and part of NETL’s CO2 Capture Program, RTI has led an effort to address and mitigate the challenges associated with solid sorbent CO2 capture. The overall objective of this project was to mitigate the technical and economic risks associated with the scale-up of solid sorbent-based CO2 capture processes, enabling subsequent larger pilot demonstrations and ultimately commercial deployment. An integrated development approach has been a key focus of this project in which process development, sorbent development, and economic analyses have informed each of the other development processes. Development efforts have focused on improving the performance stability of sorbent candidates, refining process engineering and design, and evaluating the viability of the technology through detailed economic analyses. Sorbent advancements have led to a next generation, commercially-viable CO2 capture sorbent exhibiting performance stability in various gas environments and a physically strong fluidizable form. The team has reduced sorbent production costs and optimized the production process and scale-up of PEI-impregnated, fluidizable sorbents. Refinement of the process engineering and design, as well as the construction and operation of a bench-scale research unit has demonstrated promising CO2 capture performance under simulated coal-fired flue gas conditions. Parametric testing has shown how CO2 capture performance is impacted by changing process variables, such as Adsorber temperature, Regenerator temperature, superficial flue gas velocity, solids circulation rate, CO2 partial pressure in the Regenerator, and many others. Long-term testing has generated data for the project team to set the process conditions needed to operate a solids-based system for optimal performance, with continuous 90% CO2 capture, and no operational interruptions. Data collected from all phases of testing has been used to develop a detailed techno-economic assessment of RTI’s technology. These detailed analyses show that RTI’s technology has significant economic advantages over current amine scrubbing and potential to achieve the DOE’s Carbon Capture Program’s goal of >90% CO2 capture rate at a cost of < $40/T-CO2 captured by 2025. Through this integrated technology development approach, the project team has advanced RTI’s CO2 capture technology to TRL-4 (nearly TRL-5, with the missing variable being testing on actual, coal-fired flue gas), according to the DOE/FE definitions for Technology Readiness Levels. At a broader level, this project has advanced the whole of the solid sorbent CO2 capture field, with advancements in process engineering and design, technical risk mitigation, sorbent scale-up optimization, and an understanding of the commercial viability and applicability of solid sorbent CO2 capture technologies for the U.S. existing fleet of coal-fired power plants.« less
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  1. Research Triangle Institute (RTI), Research Triangle Park, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
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DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Research Triangle Institute (RTI), Research Triangle Park, NC (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States