The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has assigned Patent No. 8,440,015 to researchers from Waynesburg University and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) for a thermal method that retains yet passivates carbon and/or other components in fly ash. John Baltrus, a research chemist at NETL, along with Professor Robert LaCount and Douglas Kern of Waynesburg University cooperated on the invention. The research resulted from a project sponsored by the Combustion Byproducts Recycling Consortium (CBRC), which is funded by NETL.
Quantum Chemistry of CO2 Interaction with Swelling Clays
Ubiquitous clay minerals can play an important role in assessing the suitability of geologic formations for secure storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). The minerals may affect the reservoir storage capacity as well as the integrity of its natural seals such as caprock formations. CO2 interaction with swelling clays such as smectites is a complex process involving physisorption in micropores and intercalation (insertion) of CO2 molecules between the layers of the clay. In montmorillonite—a swelling clay that is a member of the smectite group of clays—the width of the interlayer gap is controlled by polar water molecules hydrating the cations between layers. As the gap becomes wider the energy required for CO2 intercalation decreases.
NETL AVESTAR® Team and Invensys Collaborate to Develop Dynamic Simulators for Supercritical Pulverized Coal and Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plants
Under Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), NETL’s AVESTAR Center team and Invensys Operation Management (IOM) have developed prototype dynamic simulators and operator training systems (OTSs) for a generic supercritical once-through (SCOT) pulverized coal power plant and a generic natural gas combined cycle (NGCC). Based on IOM’s DYNSIM® dynamic simulation software and InTouch® human-machine interface software, both dynamic simulators are high-fidelity, real-time training systems that will provide AVESTAR users with realistic, hands-on experience with plant operations and control, including startups, shutdowns, cycling, load following, and abnormal situation handling. Both clean fossil energy simulators are also targeted for use in carbon capture and storage (CCS) research and include process- and heat-integration connections to post-combustion CO2-capture, CO2-compression, and CO2-utilization processes.