A transformational absorption-based carbon capture technology long supported by NETL that can help lower the cost of more effectively eliminating carbon dioxide (CO2) in a range of industrial applications is the subject of a new agreement between two technology development organizations to accelerate industrialization and scale-up.
Schlumberger, a technology company that works with partners to deploy innovative technologies on a global basis, and RTI International, an independent nonprofit research institute dedicated to advancing objective and multidisciplinary answers to scientific challenges, announced that they will work together to accelerate the scale-up of a non-aqueous solvent (NAS) technology that enhances the efficiency of absorption-based CO2 capture in industrial applications.
For years, RTI has been developing the NAS technology with support from NETL and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. The NAS technology could substantially reduce energy consumption in carbon capture operations at coal-fired power plants compared to other solvent-based technologies and reduce the costs of operation.
Some energy created by power plants is needed to operate carbon capture systems. The NAS approach could be an important step forward in CO2 capture technology because RTI claims it can reduce the energy needed to remove CO2 by as much as 40% compared to conventional aqueous solvent capture systems while retaining high CO2 capacity and reducing operating costs.
DOE has set transformational performance goals for new coal-fired power plants with carbon capture at a cost of electricity 30% lower than the baseline cost of electricity from a supercritical pulverized coal plant with carbon capture, or approximately $30 per tonne of CO2 captured by 2030. The RTI project is expected to take significant steps toward that goal.
In addition, according to RTI, the NAS technology is less corrosive, which can remove the need to use more expensive high-grade corrosion-resistant alloys.
“DOE-NETL has funded several RTI projects to develop the NAS technology,” NETL’s Mariah Richardson explained. “In the current project, they tested the solvent at engineering-scale at the Technology Centre Mongstad in Norway.”
Schlumberger and RTI officials report that in testing, NAS technology was able to remove 99% of the CO2 from natural gas combustion exhaust streams — the highest capture efficiency reported for any carbon capture solvent technology for this application.
The next step in the process is for RTI and Schlumberger to develop models that enable fast design and process customization to achieve a step-change in CO2 capture operations and expand market opportunities for the technology.
With expertise in more than 120 countries, Schlumberger collaborates to create technology that unlocks access to energy and uses its intellectual and business capital to focus on low-carbon and carbon-neutral technologies, including ventures in the domains of hydrogen, lithium, energy storage, carbon capture, utilization and sequestration, geothermal power and geoenergy.
RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to answering questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach — one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering and international development.
NETL is a DOE national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By using its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.