Project No: FE0000489
Performer: Research Triangle Institute

Jenny B. Tennant
Gasification Technology Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

K. David Lyons
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Raghubir Gupta
Principal Investigator
RTI International
P.O. Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Award Date:  07/20/2009
Project Date:  09/30/2015

DOE Share: $173,085,811.00
Performer Share: $6,286,657.00
Total Award Value: $179,372,468.00

Performer website: Research Triangle Institute -

Advanced Energy Systems - Gasification Systems

Recovery Act: High Temperature Syngas Cleanup Technology Scale-Up and Demonstration Project

Project Description

Research Triangle Institute (RTI) is designing, building, and testing the Warm Temperature Desulfurization Process (WDP) at pre-commercial scale (50 megawatt electric equivalent [MWe]) to remove more than 99.9 percent of the sulfur from coal-derived synthesis gas (syngas). RTI is integrating this WDP technology with an activated methyl diethanolamine (aMDEA) solvent technology to separate 90% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) from shifted syngas. The Polk Power Station, an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant, will supply approximately 20% of its coal-derived syngas as a slipstream to feed into the pre-commercial scale technologies being scaled-up. Techno-economic studies have shown that RTI's warm syngas cleanup technology, when integrated with 90 percent CO2 capture, has the potential to significantly reduce the capital and operating cost of an industrial facility. This project builds on the technical progress on the warm syngas cleaning technologies made during field testing with real syngas from Eastman Chemical Company's gasifier under DOE Contract DE-AC26-99FT40675. Successful warm gas cleanup, in combination with carbon capture and storage, will demonstrate high-purity syngas at significantly lower costs than current technologies.

Polk Power Station Unit 1

Polk Power Station Unit 1

Program Background and Project Benefits

This Southern Research Institute project will (i) demonstrate the potential for CBTL cost reduction by maximizing the production of C5-C20 hydrocarbon liquids using a selective FTS catalyst and (ii) evaluate the impacts of the addition of biomass to coal on product characteristics, carbon foot print, and economics. The impact of this project will be to develop a cost-effective gasification-based CBTL process to produce renewable liquid fuels that will provide diversity of fuel supply and energy security while resulting in lower future capital and operating costs. Specifically this project will design, build, and test a novel bench-scale reactor system for conversion of coal-biomass feedstocks to gasoline- and diesel-range hydrocarbon liquids using the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process chemistry using a syngas slip-stream from the pilot-scale gasifier at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) with a novel Chevron FT catalyst.


A pre-FEED, or process design package, has been developed for the high-temperature syngas cleanup units utilizing the experimental information available from bench-scale testing and the Eastman pilot plant test with real coal-derived syngas. The design basis for the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) package was finalized and the FEED design has been completed.

A Final Environmental Assessment (EA) document has been issued for this project in compliance with DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) implementation procedures. In conjunction with this Final EA document, DOE has issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for this project.