Recovery Act: High Temperature Syngas Cleanup Technology Scale-Up and Demonstration Project


Research Triangle Institute
Polk Power Station Unit 1
Polk Power Station Unit 1
Website:  Research Triangle Institute
Award Number:  FE0000489
Project Duration:  07/20/2009 – 09/30/2015
Total Award Value:  $179,372,468.00
DOE Share:  $173,085,811.00
Performer Share:  $6,286,657.00
Technology Area:  Advanced Energy Systems
Key Technology:  Syngas Processing Systems
Location:  Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

Project Description

Research Triangle Institute (RTI) is designing, building, and testing the Warm Temperature Desulfurization Process (WDP) at pre-commercial scale (50 megawatt electric equivalent [MWe]) to remove more than 99.9 percent of the sulfur from coal-derived synthesis gas (syngas). RTI is integrating this WDP technology with an activated methyl diethanolamine (aMDEA) solvent technology to separate 90% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) from shifted syngas. The Polk Power Station, an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant, will supply approximately 20% of its coal-derived syngas as a slipstream to feed into the pre-commercial scale technologies being scaled-up. Techno-economic studies have shown that RTI's warm syngas cleanup technology, when integrated with 90 percent CO2 capture, has the potential to significantly reduce the capital and operating cost of an industrial facility. This project builds on the technical progress on the warm syngas cleaning technologies made during field testing with real syngas from Eastman Chemical Company's gasifier under DOE Contract DE-AC26-99FT40675. Successful warm gas cleanup, in combination with carbon capture and storage, will demonstrate high-purity syngas at significantly lower costs than current technologies.

Project Benefits

This Southern Research Institute project will (i) demonstrate the potential for CBTL cost reduction by maximizing the production of C5-C20 hydrocarbon liquids using a selective FTS catalyst and (ii) evaluate the impacts of the addition of biomass to coal on product characteristics, carbon foot print, and economics. The impact of this project will be to develop a cost-effective gasification-based CBTL process to produce renewable liquid fuels that will provide diversity of fuel supply and energy security while resulting in lower future capital and operating costs. Specifically this project will design, build, and test a novel bench-scale reactor system for conversion of coal-biomass feedstocks to gasoline- and diesel-range hydrocarbon liquids using the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process chemistry using a syngas slip-stream from the pilot-scale gasifier at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) with a novel Chevron FT catalyst.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Kenneth Lyons:
Technology Manager 
Jenny Tennant:
Principal Investigator 
Raghubir Gupta:

Click to view Presentations, Papers, and Publications