Project No: FE0009761
Performer: Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group


Richard Dennis
Technology Manager (Acting)
Advanced Combustion Systems
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Steven Richardson
Federal Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880

Luis Velazquez-Vargas
Principal Investigator
Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group
20 South Van Buren Avenue
Barberton, OH 44203-0351

Award Date:  10/01/2012
Project Date:  09/30/2016

DOE Share: $4,744,605.00
Performer Share: $1,634,152.00
Total Award Value: $6,378,757.00

Performer website: Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group -

Advanced Energy Systems - Advanced Combustion Systems

Commercialization of the Iron Base Coal Direct Chemical Looping Process for Power Production with in situ Carbon Dioxide Capture

Project Description

The project goal is to develop a 550 MW commercial-scale economic case study of Babcock and Wilcox (B&W) and The Ohio State University’s coal direct chemical looping (CDCL) process for CO2 capture and separation that can be used for retrofit, repowering, and/or Greenfield installations. Project objectives are to validate the CDCL process application for power generation through engineering system and economic analysis and an experimental, bench scale system suitable for addressing the identified technology gaps.

CDLC Process Concept (click to enlarge)

Program Background and Project Benefits

This project focuses on development of an iron-based coal-direct chemical looping process (CDCL). The CDCL reactor design leverages high oxygen carrier conversion rates and improved solids separation, reducing equipment size and complexity and driving down capital and operating costs relative to conventional systems. Specifically, this project involves bench-scale testing and modeling to address solids handling, carrier capacity, and techno-economic analysis to provide a basis for small pilot-scale testing.

Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level

The scope for the project during Phase II includes 1) reducing technology gaps identified during Phase I of the project by conducting laboratory testing and analysis to support the development of robust oxygen-carrier particles for CDCL, and evaluating the critical pilot plant performance and design parameters; 2) designing, constructing, and testing a small CDCL bench-scale reducer reactor to demonstrate critical aspects of the CDCL process; and 3) updating the design and cost performance of the pilot and commercial 550-MWe CDCL plant.

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment identifies the current state of readiness of the key technologies being developed under the DOE’s Clean Coal Research Program. In FY 12, this project was assessed a TRL of 4.

The TRL assessment process and its results including definition and description of the levels may be found in the "2012 Technology Readiness Assessment-Analysis of Active Research Portfolio".


The project was selected for continuation into Phase II. B&W completed the CDCL preliminary commercial design and drawing for Phase I, performed char gasification experiments, and performed a techno-economic analysis. The cost for the 550-MWe CDCL plant, developed at the Total Plant Cost level, which includes equipment, materials, indirect labor costs, engineering, and contingencies, is approximately $2,508 per net kilowatt. The cost of electricity without transmission and substation (T&S) is $102.672/MWh. Char gasification kinetics were studied using a thermogravimetic analyzer. The tests studied the effect of temperature, char particle size, and presence of oxygen carriers on the rate of char gasification under carbon dioxide conditions. Results of these studies showed that—for char particle sizes larger than 500µm—the effect of particle size on the char residence time was almost insignificant and the overall residence time was much less in the presence of oxygen carriers and at elevated temperatures.