Washington, DC — A process developed by researchers at the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) that improves the capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants while reducing the cost has been selected to receive a 2011 Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.
The Basic Immobilized Amine Sorbent (BIAS) Process separates CO2 from the flue or stack gas of power plants, preventing its release into the air. The captured CO2 can then be permanently stored in a carbon sequestration scenario. Application of this technology reduces the costs and energy associated with more conventional scrubbing processes to capture CO2 in large-scale power generation facilities; consequently, its transfer from the laboratory to the marketplace is another important step in moving forward the commercialization and deployment of innovations that help decrease atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases.
This national award is presented annually by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) in recognition of outstanding work by researchers in the transfer of technology from federal laboratory to the commercial marketplace. NETL’s McMahan Gray and Henry Pennline received the award for their effort on this project.
The BIAS Process will use low-cost, regenerable, solid CO2 sorbents in large-scale fossil fuel-burning power plants. An amine compound, composed of nitrogen and hydrogen atoms, is treated to make it more selective and reactive towards CO2. Combined with a porous solid support, the amine becomes a sorbent, which selectively reacts with CO2 to extract it from the flue gas. The sorbent is then heated to release the CO2 for storage, thereby refreshing the sorbent for reuse.
As a result of NETL’s technology transfer efforts, a company is now ready to invest in BIAS Process technology for capturing CO2 from power plants and is developing commercial applications. Additional organizations are interested in using the sorbent for applications other than power plants.
The FLC is a nationwide network of federal laboratories that promotes the rapid transfer of laboratory research results and technologies into the marketplace. Its national and regional awards programs recognize laboratory employees who have done an outstanding work in technology transfer over the past year. NETL is one of more than 250 federal laboratories and centers, and their parent departments and agencies,that are members of the FLC.
The award will be presented at a ceremony held on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at the FLC National Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. A panel of technology transfer experts from industry, state and local government, academia, and the federal laboratory system reviewed applications from multiple national laboratories for this prestigious award.