Project No: FE0004329
Performer: Research Triangle Institute
Traci Rodosta Carbon Storage Technology Manager National Energy Technology Laboratory 3610 Collins Ferry Road P.O. Box 0880 Morgantown, WV 26507 304-285-1345 firstname.lastname@example.org
Darin Damiani Project Manager National Energy Technology Laboratory 3610 Collins Ferry Road P.O. Box 0880 Morgantown, WV 26507 304-285-4398 email@example.com
Brian Turk Principal Investigator RTI International 3040 Cornwallis Road Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 919-541-8024 firstname.lastname@example.org
DOE Share: $1,099,912.00
Performer Share: $274,978.00
Total Award Value: $1,374,890.00
Performer website: Research Triangle Institute - http://www.rti.org
Researchers at RTI International are conducting feasibility tests on using carbon as a reducing agent for CO2 utilization. A reducing agent (reductant) is an element or compound in a chemical reaction that reduces (adds electrons to) another species; the reducing agent then becomes oxidized (loses electrons) in the process. The chemistry for this proposed CO2 gasification process is based on the reverse Boudouard reaction, in which carbon (C) reduces CO2 to produce carbon monoxide (CO):
CO2 + C = 2CO
The reduced product (CO) can then be used to create other chemicals.
The scope-of-work has both laboratory and modeling components. The laboratory phase is focused on carbon reactions with multiple CO2 sources. This phase of the research utilizes thermogravimetric analysis (measuring small changes in weight as the temperature changes) and a bench-scale reactor system (Figure 1). The modeling effort is used to evaluate the overall process and demonstrate that it meets a net target cost of less than $10 per ton of CO2 stored with CO as the end product. Process simulation and modeling are being used to evaluate the economics and different configurations for optimizing CO2conversion. Process modeling is also being used to evaluate the addition of multiple supplemental processes for converting the CO into other chemicals.
Program Background and Project Benefits
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carbon Storage Program encompasses five Technology Areas: (1) Geologic Storage and Simulation and Risk Assessment (GSRA), (2) Monitoring, Verification, Accounting and Assessment (MVAA), (3) Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Use and Re-Use, (4) Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP), and (5) Focus Areas for Sequestration Science. The first three Technology Areas comprise the Core Research and Development (R&D), which includes studies ranging from applied laboratory to pilot-scale research focused on developing new technologies and systems for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation through carbon storage. This project is part of the Core R&D CO2 Use and Re-use Technology Area and focuses on developing pathways and novel approaches for reducing CO2 emissions in areas where geologic storage may not be an optimal solution. Carbon dioxide use and re-use applications could generate significant benefits through the capture or conversion of CO2 to useful products such as fuels, chemicals, or plastics. Revenue generated from these applications could offset a portion of the CO2 capture cost. The program’s R&D strategy includes adapting and applying existing technologies that can be utilized in the next five years, while concurrently developing innovative and advanced technologies that will be deployed in the decade beyond. The area of CO2 use and re-use for carbon storage is relatively new and less well-known compared to other storage approaches, such as geologic storage. Many challenges exist for achieving successful CO2 use and re-use, including the development of technologies capable of economically fixing CO2 in stable products for indirect storage. More exploratory technological investigations are needed to discover new applications and reactions. Each CO2 use and re-use technology approach has a specific application, advantages over others, and challenges that are the focus of existing and future research. Technologies being developed will work towards meeting carbon storage programmatic goals; and these technologies may provide coal-based electric power generating facilities and other industrial CO2 emitters additional tools to manage CO2 emissions. This project will demonstrate the feasibility of a CO2 utilization process for producing carbon monoxide as a commodity chemical, and will evaluate the economic feasibility of this process. Development of the proposed technology supports the Program goal of reducing GHG emissions by utilizing waste CO2 to produce useful products. If successful, the technology would add to the suite of technologies becoming available to fossil fuel-based power plants and other large point sources for reducing CO2 emissions at reduced cost. This technology contributes to the Carbon Storage Program’s effort of developing cost-effective methods for CO2 use and re-use. Goals/Objectives
The overall objective of this project is to develop a process that utilizes carbon as a reducing agent for CO2 during the generation of a useful product with a net target cost of less than $10 per metric ton of stored CO2. A secondary objective is to evaluate whether additional processes can be added that would use the CO to produce other marketable chemicals and still achieve DOE/National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Carbon Storage program goal of converting CO2 into useful products. Specific research goals of the project include:
Evaluate and identify the most reactive carbon sources for CO2 gasification,
Evaluate the potential to increase CO2 gasification reactivity with catalysts,
Demonstrate the economic feasibility of CO2 gasification for the production of CO,
Evaluate sensitivity of process economics to assist the experimental program; and,
Evaluate economic feasibility of producing commodity chemicals.
Researchers have completed the evaluation of reactivity for CO2 gasification with a variety of carbon sources (industrial waste, fossil fuels, municipal solids waste, and biomass), and investigated the correlation between reactivity and the physical and chemical properties of carbon sources (Figure 2). Results have suggested that the carbon source does affect overall reactivity, in which biomass and municipal solid waste were shown to result in highly reactive carbon.
Researchers have investigated and demonstrated that a catalyst can significantly improve carbon reactivity (by a factor of 20 to 30) and have implemented a catalyst development program, which has shown: (1) Increased carbon reactivity through the evaluation of active components and promoters; (2) Catalyst samples developed through this research are suitable for transport reactor applications.
Researchers have completed a techno-economic analysis of a process demonstrating the economic feasibility of the production of acetic acid and methyl methacrylate. The project is currently investigating the techno-economic analysis for CO and hydrogen (H2) production.