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NETL-Sponsored National Carbon Capture Center Hits 150,000 Hours of Technology Testing and Demonstration
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The NETL-supported National Carbon Capture Center recently achieved the milestone of performing 150,000 hours of technology testing.

The National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC), a cornerstone of U.S. innovation for testing and demonstration of carbon management technologies established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NETL in 2009, recently achieved the milestone of performing 150,000 hours of technology testing.

Southern Company operates NCCC in Wilsonville, Alabama, through a cooperative agreement with DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management and NETL.

NCCC works with innovators from around the world to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and industrial sources, convert captured carbon dioxide (CO2) into useful products, or capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere air capture solutions.

NETL Acting Principal Deputy Director Sean Plasynski, Ph.D., applauded the NCCC accomplishment and the valuable role the Center plays in NETL’s mission to drive innovation and deliver solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future.

“NCCC is a unique test bed that bridges the gap between laboratory research and large-scale demonstrations of cost-effective, technically viable carbon management technologies,” he said. “The center has played a key role in NETL’s work to enable environmental sustainability for America.”

The more than 150,000 hours of technology testing completed at the NCCC is leading to process enhancements and significant scale-up of carbon management approaches. Based on pilot testing and development of more than 75 technologies, the center has played an important role in reducing the projected cost of carbon capture from fossil-based power generation by more than 40%. Reducing the overall cost is a key objective for new technology deployment.

NCCC is a neutral research test center that offers technology developers real-world field testing under actual operating conditions.

Since its creation, NCCC has worked with more than 50 organizations from seven countries to evaluate and demonstrate over 75 emerging carbon capture technologies in real-world operating conditions.

John Northington, NCCC director, said: “This momentous milestone is a testament to the highest level of collaboration with the Department of Energy, our sponsors and numerous technology developers. It’s an honor to be a part of such a long-standing and successful team effort to advance and demonstrate next-generation carbon management technologies.”

According to NCCC officials, the overall scope of technology development at the NCCC has evolved from focusing primarily on post-combustion carbon capture for coal-fired power generation to testing carbon capture technologies for natural gas-fired power plants, as well as carbon conversion/utilization processes and direct air capture.

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.