Project No: FC26-07NT43088
Performer: Praxair

Richard Dennis
Technology Manager (Acting)
Advanced Combustion Systems
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Steven Richardson
Federal Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Sean Kelly
Principal Investigator
Praxair, Inc.
175 East Park Drive
Tonawanda, NY 14534

Award Date:  04/01/2007
Project Date:  09/30/2015

DOE Share: $41,188,249.00
Performer Share: $23,939,957.00
Total Award Value: $65,128,206.00

Performer website: Praxair -

Advanced Energy Systems - Advanced Combustion Systems

Recovery Act: Oxy-combustion: Oxygen Transport Membrane Development

Project Description

Praxair determined (under a prior agreement with DOE) that the cost of CO2 capture utilizing oxygen transport membrane (OTM) air separation integrated with oxy-combustion is competitive with other CO2 capture processes when applied to large power plants. This work also demonstrated that durable OTMs for oxy-combustion can be fabricated to survive and operate reliably in a fuel environment. Praxair observed a zero percent failure rate for the OTM membranes during prior testing; however, the highly durable materials selected for the OTM reactors require substantial development in order to improve the oxygen flux through the system while maintaining durability and reducing manufacturing costs. In the first stage of this project, Praxair will further develop high-performance materials used for OTMs, optimize and test process configurations, validate manufacturing capabilities, and produce a preliminary engineering design for an OTM pilot plant system. With the addition of ARRA funding, the second stage of this project will focus on operating OTM modules in syngas and conducting oxy-combustion development- and pilot-scale tests incorporating critical system components required of commercial systems. Praxair will develop and operate a robust and reliable OTM module that will provide the foundation for commercial deployment of reactively driven ceramic membrane systems. Praxair will develop first-generation OTM modules and test them in a developmental-scale, fully integrated, multi-module syngas system producing 160,000 standard cubic feet per day (scfd) of syngas and incorporating components of a commercial system. Praxair will develop second-generation OTM modules incorporating improvements identified through module testing, and test them in a pilot-scale skidded, multi-module syngas system as well. All testing and modeling results will be evaluated to develop preliminary cost estimates for a demonstration-scale syngas system and a preliminary design for pilot-scale oxy-combustion system.

Program Background and Project Benefits

The focus of this project is the development of the oxygen transport membrane (OTM) technology for processing gaseous fuels. The OTM reduces oxygen production needs, lowering capital and operating costs, and produces a highly concentrated stream of CO2, providing a low-cost, near-zero emissions alternative for industrial processes used to process gaseous fuels. Specifically, this project will demonstrate a development-scale (~160,000 scfd syngas/ 200kWt equivalent) OTM oxycombustion and reformer unit to support design of a pilot-scale OTM process.

Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level

Phase III of the project will start with significant efforts related to design of the OTM modules and systems. Once first-generation modules are completed, the modules will be integrated in a development-scale reactor and corresponding balance-of-plant designed for a nominal 160,000 scfd syngas production demonstration. Praxair will partner with a global ceramic manufacturing company and work together to define and create subsequent generations of OTM modules. The development-scale test system will be modified as necessary to allow testing of OTM modules as improvements are introduced. There will be additional scope associated with the development-scale syngas system to develop a design to convert it to a combustion system capable of transferring heat to a load.

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment identifies the current state of readiness of the key technologies being developed under the DOE’s Clean Coal Research Program. In FY 2012, this project was assessed a TRL of 3.

The TRL assessment process and its results including definition and description of the levels may be found in the "2012 Technology Readiness Assessment-Analysis of Active Research Portfolio".