Committed to its goal of developing new energy technologies while retaining environmental integrity, NETL manages a vast portfolio of carbon capture research and development projects that are successfully reducing costs to ensure the availability of clean, reliable and affordable power from America’s abundant domestic resources.
In 2007, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found that current and projected atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), threaten the public health and welfare of present and future generations. Carbon capture technologies reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing CO2 from fossil energy-fueled power plants before they are released into the atmosphere.
Existing capture technologies add costs for industry and consumers. NETL is leveraging cutting-edge research facilities, world-class technical expertise and strategic collaborations to develop efficient and economical solutions that make carbon capture technology viable for decades to come.
NETL has published additional infographics in its series highlighting the accomplishments of the Carbon Capture Program. NETL has released four new second-generation project infographics on second-generation technologies that have reached engineering-scale testing.
The 8th infographic in this series highlights Research Triangle Institute’s (RTI) Water-Lean Solvent-based CO2 Capture Process with reduced capital and operating costs. Water usage in the solvent mixture is reduced from 70 percent to 5-10 percent by substituting a hydrophobic water-lean solvent. The water-lean process substantially reduces energy consumption, thereby reducing operating costs, and enhances solvent performance with a lower-cost regenerator design, allowing for reduced capital cost. Bench-scale development for this process began in 2009 and a project for large-scale testing (12 MWe) was initiated in 2018 to evaluate, at Norway’s Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), the viability of RTI’s new solvent for conventional CO2 capture systems.
The 9th infographic features the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) Aqueous Amine Solvent Process. The post-combustion CO2 capture system uses heat integration, two-stage stripping, and an advanced solvent to enhance CO2 absorber performance, thereby improving plant efficiency and reducing costs. UK’s utilization of system integration and heat recovery measures have driven down operating costs. UK validated their capture process with small engineering-scale testing (0.7 MWe) on a slipstream of flue gas at the E.W. Brown power plant. In 2015, UK began development of a preliminary plant design with engineering/cost estimates for a potential 10 MWe large-scale facility.
The 10th infographic in the series highlights University of Texas’ Concentrated Piperazine (PZ) Solvent Process, which uses concentrated PZ as a solvent for absorbing CO2 from coal-fired power plant flue gas while employing a novel, high-temperature, two-stage flash regeneration design. This process showed improvements over the higher costs and performance challenges of first-generation solvent systems. The enhanced absorption kinetics and low degradation rates reduce both operating and capital expenses. Testing of the University of Texas’ solvent process at a small engineering-scale (0.5 MWe) began in 2017 at the National Carbon Capture Center, with potential for large-scale testing in the future.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has a goal of reducing the cost of carbon capture to $30/tonne CO2 by 2030, and projects sponsored by NETL contribute to this goal.
Click here to access all the Capture Program’s infographics released to date.
DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory Lab supports the development and commercialization of advanced technologies that provide reliable and affordable solutions to America's energy challenges. NETL’s work supports DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.