Development of a Precombustion Carbon Dioxide Capture Process using High Temperature Polybenzimidazole Hollow-Fiber Membrane


PBI hollow fiber membrane skid for testing at NCCC
PBI hollow fiber membrane skid for testing at NCCC
SRI International
Website:  SRI International
Award Number:  FE0012965
Project Duration:  10/01/2013 – 06/30/2018
Total Award Value:  $2,976,827
DOE Share:  $2,374,997
Performer Share:  $601,830
Technology Area:  Pre-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Membranes
Location:  Menlo Park, California

Project Description

SRI International has teamed with Generon IGS, Enerfex, Inc., Electric Power Research Institute, and PBI Performance Products to further develop a high-temperature, membrane-based, pre-combustion carbon capture technology for integrated gasification combined cycle power plants. The separation process utilizes a high-temperature stable polybenzimidazole (PBI) polymer to separate coal-derived synthesis gas (syngas) at elevated temperatures (200°C to 250°C) into a hydrogen (H2)-rich permeate stream and a retentate stream that consists mainly of high-pressure carbon dioxide (CO2). The PBI polymer will be fabricated into hollow asymmetric fibers, assembled into membrane modules, and inserted into high-pressure vessels for inclusion in a 50-kilowatt thermal capacity bench-scale unit that will be tested at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC). Short-term and long-duration tests will be performed using a 50-lb/hr syngas stream from the gasifier at NCCC to evaluate membrane stability, H2/CO2 selectivity, and H2 permeance. Collected data will be used to complete design and engineering studies of a full-scale plant incorporating the PBI membrane-based process. A detailed techno-economic analysis will also be completed.

Predecessor Project: FC26-07NT43090

Project Benefits

The pre-combustion CO2 capture project will develop a cost-effective technology for removing CO2 from the syngas of existing and new oxygen-fired coal gasifiers, with the CO2 suitable for subsequent storage or as feedstock for a variety of products. The PBI membrane-based separation system increases energy efficiency and reduces operating costs. The resulting project data will be used for further development and to advance the CO2 capture technology toward commercial deployment.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
José Figueroa:
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett:
Principal Investigator 
Indira Jayaweera:

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