Battelle was awarded $1.99 million from the Department of Energy to study how cost-effectively a new carbon dioxide capture process can work to pull toxic particulates out power plant emissions. Photo: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Battelle researchers based in Richland, Wash.,
have been awarded nearly $2 million from the Department of Energy’s Office of
Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory to study how well a
new carbon dioxide capture process can work to pull greenhouse gases out of
emissions from coal-fired power plants. Scientists estimate the new process to
save more than 50% of total costs over current emissions treatment options.
During the three year project, Battelle
scientists will work with the Fluor Corporation and Queens University
to evaluate the advanced carbon dioxide capture system, called Polarity Swing
Assisted Regeneration, or PSAR. Developed at Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory, which is operated for DOE by Battelle, the PSAR process uses
organic liquids to capture and separate out the carbon dioxide from flue gas at
a much lower temperature than the process currently used in coal-fired power
plants. That process, called thermal swing regeneration, requires significant
power to heat, boil, and cool harsh chemical sorbents in a series of steps to
remove the carbon dioxide from the flue gas.
Much less power is required to complete the
“A key distinction of PSAR is that the
process makes efficient use of heat from the power plant rather than using
valuable steam, to operate the carbon dioxide capture process, saving power producers
energy and money,” says David Heldebrant, Battelle senior research
scientist. “This not only improves the efficiency of the overall process,
but also simplifies the use of this process as a retrofit to an existing
pulverized coal power plant.”
In previous work, Heldebrant and his team have
found that the recyclable organic liquids used in the process, called CO2BOLS,
have the capability to capture the same amount of gases-per-weight over
existing treatment sorbents with much less energy. The CO2BOLS also
are recyclable and environmentally friendly, and scientists estimate power
producers could realize an even greater cost benefit, over time, due to lowered
cost of materials and a decreased rate of decomposition of the liquid.
“This could be a very effective way for
power producers to reduce their environmental footprint and realize some major
cost benefits,” says Heldebrant.
Battelle will lead the collaborative team on
the project. Work will begin this fall.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,