DOE to award up to $36M for design and testing of advanced carbon capture technologies for coal-fired power generation
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $36 million (DE-FOA-0001791) to continue the development of carbon capture technologies to either the engineering scale or to a commercial design, with an eye to reducing fossil fuel power plant emissions. DOE is currently targeting transformational technologies that by 2030 will support a new coal-fired power plant with CO2 capture with a cost of electricity at least 30% lower than a supercritical, pulverized-coal plant with CO2 capture, or approximately $30 per tonne of CO2 captured.
The new FOA has two Areas of Interest: (1) Scaling of Carbon Capture Technologies to Engineering Scales Using Existing Host Site Infrastructure; and (2) Initial Engineering, Testing, and Design of a Commercial-Scale, Post-Combustion CO2 Capture System.
The objective of Area of Interest 1 is to test transformational solvent-based CO2 capture technologies at engineering scales using existing infrastructure, or membrane-based approaches that, due to their modular nature, can be built and tested at a relevant scale that can be easily replicated for larger systems.
Testing will need to be under realistic conditions using actual (not synthetic) coal-fueled generating or similar flue gas. The DOE will not consider testing on natural gas flue gas. Testing is to be performed for continuous long-term operational periods to address concerns with applying capture technology to coal-fueled power generation systems and to gather data necessary for further process scale-up for future demonstration.
The proposed technology must have been tested at the bench scale with continuous integrated absorber and regenerator operation (in the case of solvent-based technology) to be eligible for consideration.
Any proposed membrane-based technology must have been tested at the bench scale in the configuration (i.e., hollow-fiber, spiral wound, shell-and-tube, etc.) intended for commercial operation. Process concepts shall be fully developed and any new materials or equipment must have been tested at the bench scale. The technical and economic potential of the concept must have been evaluated. The bench scale testing results must justify that the technology is ready for continuous operation long-term testing, including integrated absorber and regenerator operation in coal-fueled generating unit or similar flue gas.
Key scientific issues to be resolved by the proposed work are:
Performance of the solvents, including degradation rates, corrosion rates, solvent losses due to aerosol formation;
Adequacy and completeness of the approach to assessing performance of the membrane, including fouling, membrane permeability, selectivity and mechanical stability, and the overall effects of aging and predicting membrane lifetime;
Operation efficiency over static and dynamic operating conditions in the relevant environment; and
Known technical and process risks associated with the proposed technology.
The objective of Area of Interest 2 is to complete an initial design of a commercial-scale, post-combustion CO2 capture system for application at an existing coal-fueled generating unit.
Design of the capture system is to support a capital cost estimate consistent with AACE (Association of the Advancement of Cost Engineering) Class 2 with an expected accuracy range of -5% to -15% on the low side and +5% to +20% on the high side.
Engineering design is to cover both the carbon capture process and balance of plant. Balance of plant includes, but is not limited to utilities such as compression, cooling water, waste treatment, and the sources of energy, electricity and/or steam, necessary to power the capture process. The latter may include integration of an external energy source (natural gas or coal-fueled) or integration of the capture system into the existing steam cycle.