CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Capture - Post-Combustion Capture

Application of a Heat Integrated Post-Combustion Carbon Dioxide Capture System with Hitachi Advanced Solvent into Existing Coal-Fired Power Plant

Performer: University of Kentucky

Project No: FE0007395

Program Background and Project Benefits

The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE/NETL) Existing Plants, Emissions, & Capture (EPEC) Research & Development (R&D) Program is to develop innovative environmental control technologies to enable full use of the nation’s vast coal reserves, while at the same time allowing the current fleet of coal-fired power plants to comply with existing and emerging environmental regulations. The EPEC R&D Program portfolio of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions control technologies and CO2 compression is focused on advancing technological options for the existing fleet of coal-fired power plants in the event of carbon constraints.

Pulverized coal (PC) plants burn coal in air to produce steam and comprise 99 percent of all coal-fired power plants in the United States. Carbon dioxide is exhausted in the flue gas at atmospheric pressure and a concentration of 10–15 percent by volume. Postcombustion separation and capture of CO2 is a challenging application due to the low pressure and dilute concentration of CO2 in the waste stream, trace impurities in the flue gas that affect removal processes, and the parasitic energy cost associated with the capture and compression of CO2. Solvent-based CO2 capture involves chemical or physical sorption of CO2 from flue gas into a liquid carrier. Although solvent-based systems are used commercially to remove CO2 from industrial gases, they have not been applied to the removal of large volumes of gas, as in coal-fired power plant flue gas, due to significant cost and efficiency penalties.

The novel concepts and advanced solvent used in this project show promise of improving the overall plant efficiency when integrated with a CO2 capture system, and can be utilized to retrofit existing coal-fired power plants. The knowledge gained from this project on various aspects such as material coatings, process simplification/optimization, system compatibility and operability, solvent degradation and secondary environmental impact, water management and potential heat integration can potentially be applied to future commercial applications directed toward achieving DOE’s current goals for post-combustion CO2 capture.

Primary Project Goal

The project goal is to design, fabricate, install, and test a modular 0.7 MWe CO2 capture system utilizing the advanced solvent process with heat integration on a slipstream of flue gas from a coal-fired power plant to show the potential to meet DOE’s target of no more than a 35 percent increase in the COE while capturing at least 90 percent of the CO2 released during the combustion of fossil fuels in existing coal-fired power plants.


The objectives of the project are to (1) develop and deploy a novel heat integration scheme demonstrating the capability to integrate waste heat from the carbon capture platform to limit the reduction in overall power plant efficiency, (2) determine the performance of the H3-1 advanced solvent, and (3) collect the necessary information on mass and energy balances, solvent degradation (rate and products), and corrosion to provide a full techno-economic and environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) analysis at a 550 MWe commercial-scale level.

Planned Activities

  • Perform an updated techno-economic analysis of the final process design, based on a 550 MWe power plant.

  • Design, fabricate, and install the 0.7 MWe modular slipstream facility.

  • Commission and shakedown the facility with a baseline 30 wt% MEA solvent.

  • Conduct parametric and verification investigations using two proprietary solvents.

  • Conduct a system dynamics load-following study, a solvent degradation study, and a materials corrosion study.

  • Perform system and economic analyses of the proposed technology using various steam extraction and heat recovery configurations, and compression technologies.

  • Conduct transient tests to quantify the ability of the system to follow the load demand of the power station.

  • Perform an EH&S assessment of the process.

Project Details