A High Efficiency, Ultra-Compact Process for Pre-Combustion CO2 Capture


The MR-AR Process
The MR-AR Process
University of Southern California
Website:  University of Southern California
Award Number:  FE0026423
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 03/31/2019
Total Award Value:  $1,909,018
DOE Share:  $1,520,546
Performer Share:  $388,472
Technology Area:  Pre-Combustion Capture
Key Technology:  Novel Concepts
Location:  Los Angeles, California

Project Description

The University of Southern California has teamed with Media and Process Technology Inc. to perform laboratory-scale testing of a high-efficiency, low-temperature reactor process for the water gas shift (WGS) reaction of coal syngas for pre-combustion carbon dioxide (CO2) capture in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) systems. The process will utilize a unique membrane- and adsorption-enhanced WGS reactor system previously developed for hydrogen (H2) production via methane steam reforming that allows for in situ preferential H2 permeation and simultaneous CO2 adsorption. The system combines a membrane reactor (MR) and an adsorptive reactor (AR) in tandem to produce an ultra-pure H2 product continuously until the adsorbent (in the AR unit) is saturated, which is then regenerated via a temperature swing adsorption (TSA) operation. This unique reactor configuration can be viewed as a hybrid MR-AR system under TSA operation. The MR-AR system is a highly-efficient and ultra-compact process for the treatment of syngas to produce hydrogen appropriate for use in IGCC with simultaneous pre-combustion CO2 capture. Further the use of a temperature-swing rather than a pressure-swing CO2 recovery step (as commonly practiced in AR systems) allows the recovery of CO2 at high pressures, thus requiring no additional re-compression step for CO2 storage. The project goal is to validate the novel hybrid MR-AR system for IGCC applications by conducting laboratory-scale studies using simulated coal-derived syngas. The development effort will use a previously developed carbon molecular-sieve-based membrane and will test a hydrotalcite-based adsorbent and other potentially promising adsorbents. A mathematical model will be used to analyze the resulting data, further optimize the system, develop preliminary technical designs, and conduct a techno-economic analysis.

Project Benefits

The hybrid concept process allows the simultaneous removal of both H2 and CO2, which results in significant reaction rate enhancement over the conventional WGS system. Validation of the hybrid process with simulated coal-derived syngas will confirm its readiness for fully-integrated testing with actual coal-derived syngas, charting a pathway toward meeting the overall DOE performance goals of a 90 percent CO2 capture rate with 95 percent CO2 purity at a cost of electricity of 30 percent less than baseline capture approaches.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Andrew Jones: andrew.jones@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager 
Lynn Brickett: lynn.brickett@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator 
Theodore Tsotsis: tsotsis@usc.edu

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