CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Capture - Pre-Combustion Capture


Pilot Testing of a Highly Effective Pre-Combustion Sorbent-Based Carbon Capture System


Project No: FE0013105


Project Description

TDA Research (TDA), along with its partners, will continue to advance development of their novel sorbent-based pre-combustion carbon capture technology through pilot-scale testing. TDA’s high-temperature pressure swing adsorption (PSA)-based process uses an advanced physical adsorbent that selectively removes CO2 from coal-derived syngas at temperatures as high as 300 degrees Celsius, achieving high power-cycle efficiency. The sorbent is a mesoporous carbon grafted with surface functional groups that remove CO2 via physical adsorption. The sorbent binds CO2 more strongly than common physical adsorbents, providing the chemical potential needed for the high temperature operation. As CO2 does not form a true covalent bond with the surface sites (as with chemical absorbents), the sorbent regeneration can be accomplished with a relatively small energy input.
Previous work conducted under DOE/NETL funding (DE-FE0000469) verified the techno-economic viability of the technology through bench-scale and slipstream testing. The sorbent was shown to achieve a very high working capacity, maintain its performance over 11,650 cycles, and withstand the potential impurities in actual syngas. Researchers found that the high-temperature CO2 removal capability and low regeneration energy requirement resulted in the plant efficiency of the TDA CO2 capture process exceeding 34 percent higher heating value (HHV), compared to 31.4 percent for the conventional SelexolTM solvent system. The capital cost for an IGCC system with TDA’s process was estimated to be 12 percent lower than that of IGCC with the Selexol process. For the current project, the sorbent performance will be evaluated using actual syngas in a fully equipped system at a larger scale and for a longer duration. Researchers will optimize the sorbent reactor design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The PSA cycle sequence will be improved through adsorption modeling. Two 0.1 megawatt electric (MWe) tests will be conducted for 9 to 12 months in a fully equipped prototype unit and using actual syngas to prove the viability of the new technology. All results will feed into a techno-economic analysis supported with Aspen Plus® simulations to calculate the impact of the CO2 capture system on plant efficiency and the cost of electricity.
The first pilot test will be conducted at the Power Systems Demonstration Facility at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) and the second test at Sinopec’s IGCC plant in China. These facilities use different types of gasifiers (air-blown transport gasifier vs. oxygen-blown gasifier) and feedstocks (low rank
coals vs. petcoke), which will allow researchers to assess process efficacy in very different gas streams.

TDA’s CO2 separation system integrated with an IGCC power plant.


Project Details