CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Capture - Post-Combustion Capture

Bench-Scale Development of an Advanced Solid Sorbent-Based Carbon Capture Process for Coal-Fired Power Plants

Performer: Research Triangle Institute

Project No: FE0007707

Project Description

Research Triangle Institute (RTI), in collaboration with its partners, will develop and evaluate an advanced solid sorbent-based CO2 capture process that has the potential to substantially reduce the parasitic energy requirement and costs associated with capturing CO2 from coal-fired flue gas compared to conventional aqueous amine CO2 scrubbing. A promising molecular basket sorbent (MBS) from Pennsylvania State University (PSU) will be combined with RTI’s circulating, fluidized, moving-bed reactor (FMBR) process design concept and thoroughly evaluated at bench scale on actual coal-fired flue gas to demonstrate feasibility of the process concept.

Developed through previous DOE projects, PSU’s MBS exhibited many of the desired performance characteristics for use in the RTI CO2 capture process. The MBS comprises a CO2-philicpolymer, polyethyleneimine (PEI), loaded onto high surface area nanoporous materials. The sorbent has demonstrated high CO2 loading capacity and thermal properties that could greatly reduce parasitic power requirements for CO2 capture. In the current project, researchers will transition the existing MBS material from a highly-promising, laboratory-scale fixed-bed adsorbent to a fluidizable, attrition-resistant CO2 adsorbent that can be effectively utilized in the proposed capture process.

In a previous DOE project, RTI developed a cyclic, thermal-swing process design based on continuous sorbent circulation through dual FMBRs for CO2 adsorption and sorbent regeneration. In the current project, the FMBR design will be evaluated under CO2 capture and sorbent regeneration conditions to prove that it is an optimal solid sorbent-based process design. It is anticipated that this effort will demonstrate the FMBR’s exceptional heat transfer characteristics, its potential for reducing process pressure drop, and the advantages for sorbent circulation versus multi-vessel, gas-switching approaches.

The advanced sorbent will initially be tested in a single laboratory-scale fluidized bed column. The results will be used to design and fabricate a continuous-flow bench-scale system based on RTI’s two-column CO2 removal process concept. After the completed bench-scale system is fabricated and tested in the lab, it will be tested on flue gas from a coal-fired boiler at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). This field testing will demonstrate long-term thermal, chemical, and physical stability and the CO2 capture and sorbent regeneration performance of the MBS sorbent and FMBR process technologies. The data obtained during the field test will be used to prepare a design for a full-scale unit and to conduct technical, economic, and environmental analyses.

Project Details