Archive for category CCS USA

Carbon capture technologies should move faster now !

Posted by on Saturday, 19 March, 2011

The nuke disaster in Japan is going to change the energy mix of the world soon.

The emphasize on renewables like solar, wind, geo thermal, tidal, wave, hydro etc will now become more.

For the earth quake and the tsunami that hit Japan climate change is probably not the reason. Nor the green house gasses. Probably not even the enhanced ppm of co2 in the atmosphere.

The need for speeding up the carbon capture from coal powered plants is now even more than ever before, now that nuke is going to take the back seat. Atleast for a while.
The CCS technology has to be perfected and implemented as soon as one can.

Carbon capture and sequestration technology for retro fitting of existing power plants also need to be hastened.

Nuclear  power provides about 6% of the world’s energy and 13–14% of the world’s electricity.

The Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of USA has begun research under the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI), partnering with other national laboratories, universities, and industry to develop state-of-the-art computational modeling and simulation tools to accelerate commercialization of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

CCSI is one of three areas of research under the Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative announced late last year by Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The others involve developing validation data and experimental work, and developing methodology and simulation tools to assess risk.

Both the above are good news for the CCS industry. The need for them to move fast  is very high.

Certainly extensions of old nuclear plants will get delayed or more likely, get terminated. All the new plants will also get delayed and many will get cancelled.
Newer and stricter regulations and laws will ensure that many nuclear projects may get put off or not permitted.
Many under developed and less developed countries may go for coal based power plants.
This is not going to help CO2 emission reduction.

CCS will have to come to the rescue immediately. CCS is not going to generate new electricity.

It can help new coal plants fitted with CCS get operational as coal still remains cheap.

To do carbon capture and storage on a temporary basis is expensive .  At present NETL, CCSI and several private players as well as government bodies are planning to capture carbon and store it as geological sequestration or as ocean sequestration. Technology is being perfected for carbon capture, liquefaction, transportation and storage.


Many stringent stipulations that will come into being for nuclear power plants will also apply for coal powered plants.

Therefore CCS will gain importance and hence the need to reduce the time to market of CCS technologies.

Objections  to Carbon capture and sequestration may be a little less than for a new nuclear plant.

If the concept is to store Co2,  temporarily till such time such time new processes for products from co2 are conceived, then it will be a great idea.

However, there is a great need to capture co2 and store it quickly.

CCSI will utilize a software infrastructure to accelerate the development and deployment cycle for bringing new, cost-effective CCS technologies to market in several important ways. The operative term is quick.

Promising concepts will be more quickly identified through rapid computational screening of devices and processes.

The time and expense to design and troubleshoot new devices and processes will be reduced through science-based optimal designs.

The technical risk in taking technology from laboratory-scale to commercial-scale will be more accurately quantified.

Deployment costs will be quantified more quickly by replacing some of the physical operational tests with virtual power plant simulations.

CCS is critical to curb climate change. Capture co2 from power plants and industrial facilities, and store it to prevent the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere.DOE has started a number of programs to promote CCS, including the Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative.

CCSI will develop a set of tools that can simulate scale-up of a broad suite of new carbon capture technologies, from laboratory to commercial scale.  In its first 5 years CCSI will focus on oxy-combustion and post-combustion capture.

CCSI will be using solid sorbents and advanced solvents. Pulverized coal power plants, which currently generate nearly half of USA’s electricity and are expected to emit 95percent of the United State’s coal-based CO2 emissionsbetween 2010 and 2030.

The CCSI is led by NETL.  CCSI thus leverages the core strengths of DOE’s national laboratories in modeling and simulation. The project brings together talent from several well known research centres like NETL, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The CCSI’s initial industrial partners are ADA Environmental Solutions, Alstom Power, Ameren, Babcock Power, Babcock & Wilcox, Chevron, EPRI, Eastman, Fluor, General Electric, Ramgen Power Systems, and Southern Company.

There is this globalccsinstitute in Australia. The Institute connects parties around the world to address issues and learn from each other to accelerate the deployment of CCS projects. The global ccs institute too should get more funding and should fund/ lend more projects to start CCS.

Now, all these Government organisations of CCS,  may have to hasten their plans to reach out.
Similarly RECS the organization that fosters and advances education, scientific research, professional training and career networks for graduate students and young professionals in the CCS field.

They may need to look at training more people quickly.

The CCSI’s academic participants—Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Penn State University, Princeton University, and West Virginia University—bring unparalleled expertise in multiphase flow reactors, combustion, process synthesis and optimization, planning and scheduling, and process control techniques for energy processes. CCSI’s academic  section is pretty wide and very impressive. But it needs to move truly fast .

No sequestered carbon dioxide has any guarantee against earth quakes and tsunamis. However if the storage is made in zones that are less prone to earthquakes, it will be a lot safer.

With such solid backing of well known participants with proven capabilities, it is hoped that the carbon capture and storage technologies are moved forward faster than ever before as the need is now more than ever before.

CSLF set up in South Africa. The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) is a Ministerial-level internationalclimate change initiative that is focused on the development of improved cost-effective technologies for theseparation and capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) for its transport and long-term safe storage. Organisations like CSLF in all countries should change their road map for ccs and speeden up. Time is of essence.
These organisations also need to invest on research in CO2 to products immediately.

CCS plus ‘ co2 to products ‘ is the  way to go !


Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Greenhouse Gas

Climate Change

Carbon Sequestration


Carbon capture and storage progress card for usa

Posted by on Monday, 14 March, 2011

According to an estimate from US DOE energy information administration, industrial sector alone account for slightly more than 25% of the total carbon dioxide emissions in the country. In an effort to reduce the carbon emissions from industrial units, DOE has allocated funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment act to fund more than 25 projects that can capture and store CO2 emissions from different industrial units like cement, paper mills, refineries, chemical plants and manufacturing facilities.

As a part of its $1.4 billion initiative, DOE selected 3 large scale carbon capture and storage projects located in Texas, Illinois and Louisiana for funding way back in 2009. The first phase of these projects involved an initial investment of $44 million towards research and development (R&D). On successful completion of phase I, the 3 projects have entered the phase II that involves design, construction and operation of the carbon capture units. The 3 projects that are part of this initiative are as follows:

  • Air Products and Chemicals had partnered with Denbury Onshore to capture and sequester 1 million tons of CO2 per year from its existing steam-methane reformers in Texas. The captured carbon dioxide will be transported via pipelines by Air Products to near by oil fields to enhance the recovery of the same.
  • Archer Daniels Midland Company is operating an ethanol manufacturing plant in Illinois. The proposed project aims to capture and sequester 1 million tons of CO2 from the plant and store it in a well characterized saline reservoir located about one mile from the plant. It is a joint venture of Archer Daniels, Schlumberger carbon services and the Illinois state geological survey.
  • Leucadia Energy and Denbury Onshore will capture carbon dioxide from a methanol plant to sequester it in an oilfield for enhanced oil recovery operations.

In addition to these 3 projects, DOE as early as September 2010 had identified another 22 projects with an objective of accelerating the R&D in carbon capture and storage to make this technology commercially viable. These projects with a funding of $575 million will complement the already existing projects funded through the recovery act.

An overview of all the above projects can be found here.


Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Capture and Storage


Enhanced Gas Recovery

Carbon Sequestration


12 US Industrial CCS Projects Pursue $1.4 billion in DOE Funding

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

The US Energy Department is funding a dozen projects to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and store or use them beneficially. (based on Oct 2009 news)

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $21.6m in funding, from a $1.4 billion pot devoted to the purpose in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Winning projects are:
• Chemicals giant Air Products and Chemicals proposes concentrating CO2 from a pair of methane waste streams. The gas, more than a million tons annually, would be piped to the Oyster Bayou oilfield in Texas for enhanced recovery by Denbury Onshore. I guess this would essentially prevent methane (a more potent GHG) from spilling over into the atmosphere while sequestering the CO2 as well.
• Archer Daniels Midland, the agricultural major, is working with an advanced amine process from Dow/Alstom to capture flue gases for sequestration in the Mt. Simon Sandstone reservoir. Amines are energy intensive as greenhouse gas scrubbers. Advanced amines aim to reduce the energy intensity of CO2 removal from flue gasses by 20-30%. In fact, advanced amines for CO2 capture is one of the hottest research topics right now.
• Battelle Memorial Institute, in partnership with Boise White Paper and Fluor, is exploring carbon sequestration in deep flood basalt formations in Washington State. Flour is at work on a custom CCS technology designed to handle exhaust from burning black liquor, a by-product of the pulp and paper production process used for fuel. It will be interesting to see how the non-power plant sector adopts CCS technologies. To what extent do these technologies need customization when compared to those for power plants? This is something I’d like to read up on.
• Shell Oil affiliate C6 Resources will work with two Energy Department laboratories to capture and pipe 1 million tons of CO2 from sources in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and inject it into a saline formation more than 3.2 kilometres under ground.
• Shell Chemical Capital plans to capture, condition and transport by pipeline by-product and off-gas CO2 streams from multiple Mississippi River facilities in Louisiana. A million tons each year would be stored in geologic formations.
• Cement giant CEMEX USA is partnering with RTI International on a dry sorbent technology aimed at capturing 1 million tons of CO2 a year in a commercial-scale application at a CEMEX plant. Cement is one industry (after power plants) that could be very keen on the CCS technologies, given that they are one of the largest CO2 emitting sectors.
• ConocoPhillips plans to improve conversion efficiency and economies of scale in carbon capture at a petcoke-fired, 683-megawatt power plant adjacent to a refinery in Texas. The goal is to capture 85% of CO2 in the process stream, with more than 5 million tons a year pumped into depleted oil or gas fields.
• Leucadia Energy, partnering with Denbury Onshore, have two winning projects: One aims to capture 4 million tons annually from a planned petroleum coke-to-chemicals project in Louisiana. The CO2 will be used for EOR. The other project would attempt to capture a similar amount of CO2 from a petcoke-to-substitute natural gas plant in Mississippi. These are examples of CCS in the petrochemical industry
• Praxair, in partnership with BP Products North America, Denbury Resources and Gulf Coast Carbon Center, aims to capture emissions from a hydrogen-production facility at a BP refinery, using them for enhanced oil recovery. A million tons of CO2 annually could be captured.
• The University of Utah plans to capture more than 1 million tons of CO2 annually from a variety of industrial sources and transported by two new pipelines to be used for enhanced oil recovery and storage in a deep saline aquifer beneath the state of Kansas.
• Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative will investigate advanced amines from Hitachi and Dow to capture 300,000 tons of CO2 a year from a planned 600MW circulating fluidized bed power plant in Michigan.


NRG Energy / Powerspan 125MW CCS Demonstration Plant in Texas

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

US power station operator NRG Energy and technology company Powerspan have announced plans to develop a “commercial scale” carbon capture and sequestration facility for a coal power station.It will be attached to a power plant in WA Parish, Sugar Land, Texas, which NRG says is one of the largest and best baseload coal facilities in the country.

It will use Powerspan’s ECO2 technology, which captures carbon dioxide post combustion into an ammonia stream. Powergen says that the system has simpler capital equipment design and lower energy consumption than other carbon capture technologies.

NRG says that carbon capture projects on coal fuelled power plants have only been conducted to date at a scale of 1 to 5 megawatts; this one will capture carbon dioxide from flue gas equivalent to what a 125 megawatt power plant would emit.

It will rank “among the world’s largest CCS projects and potentially the first to achieve commercial scale capture and sequestration from an existing coal-fueled power plant,” NRG says.The carbon dioxide is expected to be used to enhanced oilfield recovery (EOR) in Houston, being buried in oilfields to push more oil out of the ground.

The plant is expected to capture 90 per cent of carbon dioxide from the flue gas stream and be operational in 2012.