CCS and Power Systems

Carbon Capture - Post-Combustion Capture

National Carbon Research Center at the Power Systems Development Facility

Performer: National Carbon Capture Center

Project No: NT0000749

Program Background and Project Benefits

In cooperation with Southern Company Services, the U.S. Department of Energy(DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) established the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) at the Power Systems Development Facility (PSDF) in Wilsonville, Alabama. The center will bolster national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing cost-effective technologies to capture the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by fossil-fueled power plants.

The PSDF is a unique test facility. It is large enough to provide commercially relevant data, yet small enough to be cost-effective and adaptable to testing a variety of emerging technology developments. The facility is a test-bed capable of evaluating advanced technologies at multiple scales, thus allowing results to be scaled directly to commercial application. This capability gives the PSDF the flexibility to develop and demonstrate a wide range of advanced power generation technologies that are critical to developing highly efficient power plants that capture CO2.

The PSDF was launched in late 1990 with the signing of an agreement between DOE and Southern Company Services. Since completion of the facility in 1996, it has been a center of national efforts to develop coal-based power generation technologies that are reliable, environmentally acceptable, and cost effective. Many of the technologies developed at the facility are now commercially available or are ready for commercialization, including a design for an integrated gasification combined cycle power plant to be built in Kemper County, Mississippi, that will showcase a transport gasifier technology that was developed at the PSDF. Building on this success, the PSDF is now narrowing its focus. The new NCCC at the PSDF will concentrate on developing cost-effective, commercially viable carbon capture technology for coal-fueled power plants through scale-up and continued technology development by DOE and/or third party technology developers.


The NCCC will support national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by collaborating with technology developers in accelerating their CO2 capture technology development for application to coal-fueled power plants. The NCCC offers a flexible test facility which provides commercially representative flue gas and syngas, and the necessary infrastructure in which developers’ technologies are installed and tested to generate data for performance verification under industrially realistic operating conditions. Testing and developing new CO2 capture technologies in commercially representative conditions is critical before the technologies can be deployed at full scale. The NCCC can provide such a setting by delivering coal-derived flue gas and syngas over a wide range of process conditions. The NCCC at the PSDF will provide the necessary personnel, materials, and facilities needed to conduct this research. The applied Research and Development (R&D) carried out at the NCCC on components or small pilot-scale systems can help bridge the gaps between fundamental R&D and large-scale commercial demonstration and provides for a seamless transition for promising technologies to migrate from laboratory to commercial applications.


  • The NCCC will become a cornerstone for U.S. leadership in advanced CO2 capture technology development.

  • The NCCC will demonstrate integrated coal-based energy technology for plants that offer clean coal technology, including carbon capture.

  • Technologies developed at the NCCC will be scaled directly to commercial-sized equipment and integrated with commercial projects, including those under DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative.

  • The NCCC will lead the way to lower-cost CO2 capture technologies and enable affordable, reliable, and clean coal-based power generation for years to come.

Project Details