CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Capture - Post-Combustion Capture

Waste Heat Integration with Solvent Process for More Efficient CO2 Removal from Coal-Fired Flue Gas

Performer: Southern Company Services, Inc

Project No: FE0007525

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. Post-combustion separation and capture of CO2 is a challenging application due to the low pressure and dilute concentration of CO2 in the waste stream, which affects removal processes, and the parasitic energy cost associated with the capture, recovery, and compression of CO2. The high energy cost could be effectively mitigated with a heat integration system that utilizes low-quality waste heat inherently available in power generation.

The integration of HES technology with the CO2 capture process has a significant advantage associated with the energy efficiency of CO2 recovery and provides several other benefits to the CO2 recovery process and the balance of plant processes. Incorporating demonstration of the HES at an existing carbon capture pilot plant allows for the evaluation of improvements in the energy performance of the integrated pulverized coal plant and CO2 capture process. The advanced energy integration concept has potential to lower the overall cost of CO2 capture and demonstrate substantial progress toward meeting the cost and performance goals set by DOE.

Primary Project Goal

The project goal is to design, install, and operate a 25 MW pilot-scale HES in conjunction with the KM-CDR pilot process at Southern Company’s Plant Barry for 12 months. The project intends to demonstrate improved heat integration between the power plant and solvent-based CO2 recovery processes, and show significant progress toward meeting DOE’s goals of greater than 90 percent CO2 capture with an increase in the COE of less than 35 percent.


The project objectives are to (1) quantify energy efficiency improvements to the CO2 capture process when integrated with the HES and the host power plant; (2) identify and resolve operational and control problems from the integration of the HES and KM-CDR; (3) quantify the ancillary benefits of the HES technology to solvent-based CO2 technologies such as reduced water consumption and better overall process performance; and (4) identify and resolve operational issues associated with the use of the HES on a high-sulfur flue gas.

Planned Activities

  • Complete the Front-End Engineering Design for the HES.

  • Develop a definitive cost estimate to confirm the project budget.

  • Obtain the necessary permits to construct and operate the HES demonstration.

  • Complete the detailed engineering, procurement, and construction of the HES.

  • Prior to the start of operation, assess the baseline energy performance of the CCS plant.

  • Operate the heat integration system for 12 months.

  • Monitor operations and maintain equipment to ensure operating conditions are met.

  • Assess improvements in energy performance of the integrated CO2 capture system/host site.

  • Identify and resolve any operational or equipment problems.

  • Complete a final techno-economic analysis based on the results obtained.

Project Details