Electrochemical Membrane for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Power Generation


Electrochemical membrane CO<sub>2</sub> capture
Electrochemical membrane CO2 capture
FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCE)
Website:  FuelCell Energy Inc.
Award Number:  FE0007634
Project Duration:  10/01/2011 – 05/31/2016
Total Award Value:  $3,192,633
DOE Share:  $2,434,106
Performer Share:  $758,527
Technology Area:  Post-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Membranes
Location:  Danbury, CT

Project Description

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE), in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, URS Corporation, and Western Research Institute, will further develop its patented Combined Electric Power and Carbon-Dioxide Separation (CEPACS) system for carbon dioxide (CO2) separation and compression from pulverized coal (PC) power plants. The CEPACS system is based on an electrochemical membrane (ECM) technology derived from FCE's internal reforming carbonate fuel cell product, Direct FuelCell®. The unique chemistry of carbonate fuel cells provides a method to remove CO2 from the flue gas of PC plants and simultaneously produce additional clean electric power at high efficiency using a supplementary fuel, such as coal-derived syngas, natural gas, or a renewable resource. Therefore, the CEPACS system increases the power generated by the existing fossil-fueled plant, unlike other CO2 capture technologies that reduce net electric power. The ECM module consists of ceramic-based layers filled with carbonate salts that separate CO2 from the flue gas with a selectivity of 100 percent over the nitrogen present. Operating at atmospheric pressure, the ECM module does not require flue gas compression, and because of fast electrode kinetics, does not require a high CO2 concentration, making it suitable for use at the concentrations normally found in PC plant flue gas. Additionally, the planar geometry of the membrane offers ease of scalability to large sizes suitable for deployment in PC plants. In this project, researchers will conduct small-scale component fabrication and testing, contaminant pretreatment evaluation, and bench-scale testing of an 11.7 square meter ECM separation unit with simulated flue gas. A techno-economic feasibility study and an environmental, health, and safety assessment will be completed at the 550 megawatt PC power plant level.

Predecessor Project: DE-FC26-04NT42206

Successor Project: DE-FE0026580

Project Benefits

This project will further advance the CEPACS system through bench-scale testing on the path toward pilot testing and eventual commercialization. The ECM technology will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, increase net efficiency, enhance power generation, and reduce capital and operating costs for CO2 capture. The combined power generation and CO2 capture aspect of the CEPACS system offers the potential for achieving a low incremental cost of electricity and holds promise toward achieving the DOE goals.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
José Figueroa: jose.figueroa@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett: lynn.brickett@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Hossein Ghezel-Ayagh: hghezel@fce.com

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