National Carbon Capture Center at the Power Systems Development Facility
The Power Systems Development Facility (PSDF) is a state-of-the-art test center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and dedicated to the advancement of clean coal technology. The PSDF now houses the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) to address the nation's need for cost-effective, commercially viable CO2 capture options for flue gas from pulverized coal power plants and syngas from coal gasification power plants. The NCCC focuses national efforts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through technological innovation, and serve as a neutral test center for emerging carbon capture technologies.
- Cooperative Agreement DE-NT0000749 effective October 1, 2008 for five years through September 30, 2013.
- PSDF established by DOE in early ‘90s to accelerate development of more efficient advanced coal-based power plant technologies
- Research centered around high-temperature, high-pressure filtration
- Signed over 100 non-disclosure agreements with developers to support advancement of their technologies
- Air-blown Transport Gasifier commenced operation in 1999
- Funded by DOE’s CCPI-2, a 580-MW Transport Gasifier power plant being built in Mississippi using local lignite to enter service in 2015
- PSDF’s accelerated development objective for advanced power plants fulfilled and planned to fulfill same objective at NCCC for carbon capture technologies
National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC)
Provides first-class facilities to test developer’s technologies for extended periods under commercially representative conditions with coal-derived flue gas and syngas and thereby accelerate development of cost-effective carbon capture technologies.
Focus of NCCC Technical Program (click to enlarge)
- Pilot-scale Engineeringscale
- NCCC provides all necessary infra structure into which developer's technology can be inserted but developer must provide their technology (equipment or solvent) and pay for out-of-the-ordinary analyses
- Experienced operators and maintenance staff
- Comprehensive data collection and analysis capability
- Flexible facilities allow for scale-up from bench- to engineering-scale
- Post- and pre-combustion facilities currently available
Pre-Combustion CO2 Capture
Pre-combustion CO2 capture can be integrated into IGCC technology by adapting the process so that the syngas produced is comprised mainly of hydrogen and CO2. The hydrogen is then combusted in a gas turbine, and the CO2 is captured for storage or use. The hydrogen could also be used in fuel cells when fuel cell technology matures.
The NCCC will investigate key processes to advance pre-combustion CO2 capture. These key processes include:
- Gas/liquid contacting systems
- Solvents for CO2 capture/separation
- Water-gas shift membranes
- CO2 compression
- Emerging syngas processes (sorbents and membranes)
The NCCC pre-combustion CO2 test facility includes slipstreams with a range of gas flow rates (50, 500, and 5,000 lb/hr) and process conditions using coal-derived syngas for verification and scale-up of fundamental research and development CO2 capture projects. The NCCC has the capability to test these systems using a wide range of fuels, including biomass and bituminous, subbituminous, and lignite coals. NCCC staff will work closely with DOE and with technology vendors to design individual test systems. As concepts proceed past the bench scale, testing under industrial conditions with real syngas will provide meaningful pathways to commercialization. Future planned pre-combustion testing includes:
- Assessing feasibility of installing Ohio State's Chemical Looping 0.25-MWt Pilot Plant at NCCC
- B&W developing design to process 800 lb/hr syngas and will support test program
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute collaborative to test Pd and Pd alloy hydrogen membrane
- In discussion with developers to test larger CO2 and hydrogen membranes and CO2 sorbents
The gasification process at the NCCC is based on the Transport Gasifier, a circulating fluidized bed reactor which was designed based on successful operations of fluid bed catalytic cracking. Some features of the Transport Gasifier include:
- Simple, well established design based on technology in use for 70 years which does not require expansion joints
- Equally effective gasification in either air- or oxygen-blown modes of operation, making it suitable for power generation or production of liquid fuels and chemicals
- High reliability non-slagging design, which allows a 10- to 20-year refractory life
- Operation without burners enhances reliability and minimizes maintenance requirements
- Use of coarse, dry coal feed, which requires fewer, lower power pulverizers, and less drying than other dry-feed gasifiers
- Cost-effective operation and high carbon conversion with high moisture, high ash, and low rank fuels, including subbituminous and lignite coals
- Excellent heat and mass transfer due to a high solids mass flux, with a solids circulation rate 80 to 100 times greater than the coal feed rate
Syngas produced in the gasifier is cooled, filtered in a hot gas particulate control device, and is available for testing a variety of gas cleanup technologies. Operation of the gasification process also allows testing and development of numerous gasification related technologies, such as high pressure solids handling equipment, advanced instrumentation, hot gas filter components, and gas analysis equipment.