Pilot Testing of a Highly Effective Pre-Combustion Sorbent-Based Carbon Capture System


0.1-MWe pilot-scale test unit installed<br/>at the National Carbon Capture Center
0.1-MWe pilot-scale test unit installed
at the National Carbon Capture Center
TDA Research, Inc.
Website:  TDA Research, Inc.
Award Number:  FE0013105
Project Duration:  10/01/2013 – 09/30/2019
Total Award Value:  $9,929,228
DOE Share:  $7,943,382
Performer Share:  $1,985,846
Technology Area:  Pre-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Sorbents
Location:  Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Project Description

TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) has teamed with CDM Smith, Inc., Gas Technology Institute, the University of Alberta, the University of California Irvine, and Sinopec to advance their novel sorbent-based pre-combustion carbon capture technology through pilot-scale testing using a slipstream of synthesis gas (syngas) from an operating gasifier. TDA’s high-temperature pressure swing adsorption (PSA)-based process uses an advanced physical adsorbent consisting of a mesoporous carbon grafted with surface functional groups that selectively removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from syngas via physical adsorption at temperatures above the dew point of the gas. This low-cost, high-capacity regenerable sorbent was evaluated previously by TDA through bench-scale and slipstream testing and achieved a high CO2 removal rate of greater than 95 percent for more than 10,000 adsorption/desorption cycles. In this project, research will include scaled-up production of the sorbent; improvement of the PSA cycle sequence using adsorption modeling and optimization of the sorbent reactor design through computational fluid dynamics analysis; long-term sorbent life evaluation in a bench-scale setup of up to 60,000 cycles; design and fabrication of a 0.1-MWe pilot-scale testing unit that contains eight sorbent reactors; design of a CO2 purification sub-system; and two separate field tests on the fabricated pilot-scale unit to measure the sorbent’s performance and process efficiency. The first pilot test will be conducted at the Power Systems Demonstration Facility at the National Carbon Capture Center, and the second test will be conducted at Sinopec’s integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant in China. These facilities use different types of gasifiers (air-blown transport gasifier vs. oxygen-blown gasifier) and feedstocks (low-rank coals vs. petcoke), which will allow researchers to assess process efficacy in very different gas streams. Based on the field test results and process model simulations, a techno-economic evaluation will be completed to calculate the impact of the CO2 capture system on plant efficiency and the cost of electricity (COE).

Predecessor Project: FE0000469

Project Benefits

TDA’s high-temperature PSA-based CO2 removal technology holds potential to significantly improve the process efficiency for IGCC with carbon capture that is needed for economically viable production of power from coal and other heavy feedstocks. Higher net plant efficiency and lower capital and operating costs result in a substantial reduction in the COE for the IGCC plant. Continued development and validation of the process will put it on a path to be ready for first-of-a-kind commercial-size demonstration by 2025.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrew O'Palko: andrew.opalko@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett: lynn.brickett@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Gokhan Alptekin: galptekin@tda.com

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