Futuregen 2.0 -
Recovery Act: FutureGen 2.0: Oxy-Combustion Large Scale Test
Performer: FutureGen Industrial Alliance
Project No: FE0005054
The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $1 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding (in addition to $53.6 million in prior-year appropriations) to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance (Alliance) to build FutureGen 2.0—a clean coal repowering program and CO2 pipeline and storage network. The FutureGen 2.0 Program is implemented through two separate cooperative agreements (awards) that will run concurrently to achieve the FutureGen 2.0 objectives: the Oxy-Combustion Large-Scale Test and the Pipeline and Regional CO2 Storage Reservoir Project. Each award has the same management team but separate partners, duration, and cost. However, the individual awards are integrated in a manner such that the achievement of FutureGen 2.0 objectives is dependent on the success of both awards.
The Alliance, teaming with Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) and Air Liquide Process & Construction, Inc. (Air Liquide), is responsible for the Oxy-Combustion Large-Scale Test portion of FutureGen 2.0 and, using advanced coal oxy-combustion technology, will repower Unit 4 of the Meredosia Energy Center located approximately 20 miles west of Jacksonville, IL. Efforts thus far have included development of a preliminary design suggesting that the repowering project is both technically and economically feasible.
The Alliance is also responsible for the Pipeline and Regional CO2 Storage Reservoir Project portion of FutureGen 2.0, which involves the selection and development of a host storage site for CO2 captured from Meredosia Unit 4. The Alliance will also establish a CO2 pipeline network from Meredosia Unit 4 to a new injection well and associated storage site infrastructure, a geologic storage research complex, an education and training center, and a visitor center. The Alliance has selected a storage site in Morgan County, IL and drilled a characterization well through the overlying geologic strata and target storage formation. Research to date indicates that the saline water-bearing Mt. Simon Sandstone geologic formation and overlying rock seals are well suited for the safe and permanent storage of the injected CO2. The Alliance has also completed preliminary designs for the pipeline and injection well infrastructure as well as the visitor, research, and training facilities. This joint effort will result in the world’s first full-scale oxy-combustion repowering of an existing power plant fully integrated with CO2 transport and permanent geologic storage.
DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has identified oxycombustion as a potentially viable approach for repowering existing coal-fired facilities to capture CO2 for geologic storage. Conventional coal combustion technology uses air to burn coal, which results in a high-nitrogen flue gas with a dilute concentration of CO2. However, oxy-combustion technology separates oxygen from the air, allowing for coal to be burned in a boiler designed to produce a flue gas with concentrated CO2. Additional technology then purifies and compresses the CO2 for pipeline transport to the geologic storage host site for safe, permanent storage. The oxy-combustion technology used for FutureGen 2.0 is anticipated to create a near-zero emissions plant by capturing and compressing at least 90 percent of the plant’s generated CO2 and eliminating almost all of the sulfur oxides (SOX), nitrogen oxides (NOX), particulate, and mercury pollutants from plant emissions. The coal-fired oxy-combustion technology has been successfully pilot-tested by B&W at their research facility in Alliance, OH.
Using proven pipeline technology, the compressed and purified CO2 will be transported approximately 30 miles to the east where it will be injected into the Mt. Simon saline formation. The CO2 pipeline will originate at the Meredosia power plant site and transport approximately 1 million metric tons (MMT) per year of compressed and purified CO2 captured at the Meredosia plant. The plant is expected to generate 25 terawatts of low-carbon electricity and the storage field is expected to accept a minimum of 20 MMT (i.e., 1 MMT annually over 20 years) of CO2 over the projected lifespan (20 years minimum) of the power plant.
DOE, in conjunction with the Illinois State Geological Survey through the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC), has performed assessments of the geology available for CO2 storage in central and southern Illinois. The CO2 will be stored within the Mt. Simon Sandstone geologic formation, which is well known for its depth, CO2 storage capacity, and thick overlying rock seals that will contain the CO2. The practices used to store the CO2 are very similar to those used for safe storage of natural gas, which occurs on a large scale in Illinois. The Alliance will execute a monitoring, verification, and accounting (MVA) program in order to provide a full accounting of the stored CO2 and confirm its permanence within the geologic formation.