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Large Pilot Carbon Capture Project Supported by NETL Breaks Ground in Illinois
Timothy Killeen, president, University of Illinois; Ron Munson, technology manager,  NETL/DOE Point Source Carbon Capture; Lynn Brickett, past director, DOE HQ Point Source Carbon Capture; State Rep. Sue Scherer; Jim Langfelder, mayor of Springfield; Krista Hill, project manager, DOE/NETL, Point Source Carbon Capture Team; Kevin O’Brien, Ph.D., director, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center & Illinois State Water Survey and principal investigator, University of Illinois; Dominic Cianchetti, senior v.p.

NETL representatives recently attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) plant in Springfield, Illinois, to celebrate the advancement of a large pilot carbon dioxide (CO2) capture project made possible with funding and project management support from the Lab. The project is led by the University of Illinois, in partnership with the Linde Group, BASF Corporation, Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Affiliated Construction Services, Inc., and Visage Energy.

NETL’s Ron Munson, technology manager for the Lab’s Point Source Carbon Capture program, and Krista Hill, federal project manager, Point Source Carbon Capture Team, joined other U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials, state and city government officials, union representatives, University of Illinois leadership, CWLP staff and project team members from Linde, BASF, ACS, Visage Energy, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Prairie Research Institute.

The large pilot testing will evaluate a 10-megawatt-electric (MWe) capture system, based on the Linde-BASF advanced amine-based post-combustion capture technology, designed to capture 200 tonnes of CO2 per day. The project represents an important step towards realizing the administration’s goal of a net-zero carbon emission electricity sector by 2035. The capture system will be installed in the Dallman 4 unit at CWLP, which is a nominal 200-MWe pulverized coal-fired unit that became operational in 2009 and is one of the cleanest coal-fired generating units in the nation according to the CWLP website.

“The UIUC team has already completed Phase I and II of this project, and those successes paved the way for construction and operation of the facility,” Hill said. “The Linde-BASF technology incorporates BASF’s proprietary solvent with Linde’s process and engineering innovations to allow for a significant increase in energy efficiency and reduced cost for CO2 recovery from power plants.”

Specifically, the BASF solvent enables a reduction in regeneration energy and a lower solvent circulation rate, while Linde has achieved significant improvements in process design, featuring an advanced stripper inter-stage heater design to optimize heat recovery in the process.

“Based on results from small pilot studies, techno-economic analysis indicates the Linde-BASF technology can provide a significant reduction in capital costs compared to the NETL base case for a supercritical pulverized coal power plant with CO2 capture,” Hill said.

BASF is the producer and owner of the solvent technology. A major global player in the chemical industry, BASF has the capabilities to reliably produce and supply the solvent in sufficient volumes needed for commercialization, thereby enabling deployment at scale by avoiding issues related to solvent manufacturing for large-scale commercial plants.

Linde is a leading global industrial gases and engineering company with unparalleled experience and world-class expertise in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of industrial gas process plants, including CO2 plants, as well as plant operations.

“The Linde-BASF partnership combines the necessary capabilities and experience to potentially deliver the complete carbon capture technology value chain, from solvent production to full-scale carbon capture plant ECP, commercial deployment and long-term, continuous operations,” Hill said.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.