Archive for March, 2010

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.


CFZ Cryogenic CO2 Separation Process from ExxonMobil to be Demonstrated

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

The company plans to build a commercial demonstration plant near LaBarge, Wyoming, at its Shute Creek Treating Facility, where it will use ExxonMobil’s Controlled Freeze Zone technology (CFZ). CFZ is a single-step cryogenic separation process that freezes out and then melts the CO2 and removes other components including hydrogen sulfide, as a high pressure liquid stream.

This is what the Exxon Mobil site has to say about the CFZ technology:

“Controlled Freeze Zone (CFZ) is a single-step cryogenic separation process for removing CO2 and other undesirable elements from raw natural gas. It will be deployed at a commercial demonstration plant in Wyoming that is scheduled to begin operations in late 2009.

CFZ is expected to be a lower-cost process to develop gas high in impurities, such as carbon dioxide, and reinject the impurities. That is important because our world needs additional supplies of clean-burning natural gas.” Source

If successful, the process could reduce the cost of carbon dioxide removal from produced natural gas and eliminate the use of solvents and sulfur plants. The new demonstration plant will advance the CFZ technology to commercial application. It will process about 14 million cubic feet of gas per day for injection and test a wide range of gas compositions to evaluate the extent of its applicability to the world’s undeveloped gas resources.

Construction commenced summer 2008 for operational startup in late 2009. Testing is expected to continue until end of 2010. The detailed engineering, procurement, and construction management will be provided by URS Washington Division.

CFZ was developed by ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company and has undergone significant improvements since the 1980s, when, in an industry first, it proved the concept of freezing carbon dioxide in natural gas separation with a CFZ pilot plant.


Babcock Power and ThermoEnergy agree to develop ’TIPS’ clean coal technology

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

Based on pressurized oxy-fuel combustion technology, TIPS converts coal, natural gas, oil, and biomass into energy with near-zero air emissions. In addition, it captures CO2 in a pressurized form ready for sequestration or beneficial reuse such as enhanced oil recovery.

“The simplicity and efficiency of the TIPS approach offers a reliable and cost effective design for carbon-capture, near-zero emission power plants,” said Alex Fassbender, President of ThermoEnergy Power Systems. “With relatively few unit operations, TIPS enhances power plant reliability, while its process efficiency comes from recovering the latent heat of vaporization of produced and entrained water.”

“Adding a second reheat to the steam cycle efficiency, coupled with a simple, low-energy process to recover pipeline quality CO2 gives TIPS a competitive edge over other conversion technologies”, said Fassbender.

Babcock and ThermoEnergy engineers will begin work immediately to finalise the data needed to design, construct and operate a large-scale pilot plant at a host site.

Well, it appears to me that there is no major innovation in this, probably an incremental development in terms of increased efficiency of oxy-fuel combustion.


Coal Gasification

Sargas Technology – Carbon Capture Under $20 Per Ton?

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

It uses a system of pressurised filters, absorbers and condensers.The technology, developed by Sargas Technology Group, can also remove 95 per cent of carbon dioxide from a flue gas stream, more than the 90 per cent of most carbon capture technologies, the inventors claim.

The technology requires the flue gas to be under pressure to work, so it cannot be used with existing plants where exhaust gases are at atmospheric pressure. However it can be used with new pressurised fluidized bed combustion systems, which are currently used in Sweden and Germany, and it can be used with new natural gas plants.

The company wants to build a 400 megawatt coal fired power plant to supply electricity for metals smelters in Norway, working together with aluminium company Alcan, Norwegian oil company Norsk Hydro, French metals producer Eramet and Norwegian group Tinfos.


Clean Air Solution for Flue Gas from WI Environmental

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

The process can eliminate the release of CO2 as well as heavy metals, small particles, and NOx and SOx contamination into the atmosphere. It can be applied to emissions from the smokestacks of coal and diesel-fired new or existing power plants and other smokestack and exhaust emitting devices including in the shipping industry.

The AST solution

The AST Solution is an air purification technology that does not require the use of solid filters. It applies a patented aqueous filtering system with a combination, as needed, of electrostatic filtering, UV sterilization, germicidal sterilization and additional features. It can be used to capture and eliminate CO2, particulates, smoke, bacteria and viruses, mold and mildew, pet dander, pollen and grasses, odors, chemical vapors, other allergens, and oil mists.

According to WI, a proprietary water-based solution is used to eliminate contaminants without solution leakage and unwanted humidification, and it does not re-circulate contaminants like some other systems. It can be scaled from small household portable or fixed systems, to retrofitted systems to new or existing HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems, to large multi-stage systems for industrial purposes including any exhaust emitting device.

An advantage of the AST Solution, the company says, is that there are no filters to change or clean; it only requires refilling the storage tank with the water system every few weeks.In most areas, old formula in the tanks will be safe for discharge into a sanitary sewage system, WI says.

The XR-88 component

XR-88 is a WI Environmental propriety product that stabilises and renders benign a wide variety of metals (such as uranium, copper, hexavalent chromium, nickel, zinc, lead, arsenic and many others) that are found in industrial waste, acid mine drainage and nuclear power plant radioactive waste waters.

It has been extensively tested in the United States and China. Wastes treated with XR-88 have passed tests including the US Environmental Protection Agency Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (US EPA TCLP) test for leachability of trapped metals in the remaining sludge, thus yielding a non-hazardous waste.

CO2 removal is accomplished at the same time that heavy metals, small particles, NOx and SOx are removed. A major advantage to removing CO2 with XR-88, WI says, is that it chemically reacts with the CO2 to form a chalk-like material with a high silica content that can be filter pressed and used for beneficial uses.


Catalytic Gasification – GreatPoint Energy Raises $100 Million

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

GreatPoint Energy is a developer of catalytic gasification technology to convert coal, petroleum coke and biomass into clean natural gas while enabling the capture and sequestration of CO2. It’s catalytic gasification technology converts abundant, low cost carbon feed stocks, such as coal, petroleum, coke, and biomass, into pipeline quality natural gas.

It’s plants combine steam and carbon under pressure and in the presence of catalysts to make pure methane.

As part of its proprietary process, GreatPoint Energy removes and captures the mercury, sulfur, carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the feedstock, to produce a pure stream of methane.

GreatPoint Energy plans to construct Bluegas facilities in locations where the carbon dioxide it captures can be locally sequestered, and then transport its Bluegas product by existing natural gas pipelines to natural gas markets across the country.

According to the company, other coal gasification technologies that produce synthesis gas (which consists of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) cannot take advantage of the nation’s existing natural gas pipeline and distribution network.


Coal Gasification

ECO2 – BP and Powerspan Develop Ammonia CCS Technology

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

A pilot testing project is expected to begin early 2008 at FirstEnergy Corporation’s R.E. Burger plant in Shadyside, Ohio, processing 20 tons of carbon dioxide a day from a 1 megawatt power generation. The carbon dioxide will be buried in an 8,000 foot test well at the site.
FirstEnergy is collaborating with the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration. It may be the first ever demonstration program for carbon capture and storage at a conventional coal fired power plant.

Powerspan developed the technology together with the US Department of Environment’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.The technology can work together with other Powerspan technologies to remove NOx, SO2, mercury and fine particulates.
Powerspan’s ECO2 technology is a promising solution for post combustion capture of CO2. This is an opportunity for BP to broaden the scope of low carbon power offering by including a CO2 capture technology that is compatible with new and existing coal fired power stations.

Powerspan’s ECO2 technology captures carbon dioxide post combustion into an ammonia stream.


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.


Carbondox – Carbon Dioxide Capture Pilot Test Program Commenced by Cemtrex

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

Cemtrex is engaged in the manufacturing, sale and service of the most advanced instruments, software and systems for monitoring emissions of Greenhouse gases, hazardous gases, particulate and other regulated pollutants used in emissions trading globally.

Cemtrex Inc. announced that it has started its pilot test program to develop its carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology, Carbondox, for application in coal-fired power plants.

“Carbondox technology represents a measurable and significant breakthrough in combating climate change and economically reducing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning power plants,” said Mr. Arun Govil, CEO & President of Cemtrex Inc. “Our test program investigates the implementation and optimization of a corona-catalyst and bicarbonate mechanisms in an aqueous medium for the purpose of CO2 capture from flue gases emitted by coal-fired combustors, post-Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) equipment.”

The CEO has not shared any more details as of now. It appears to me that what they are doing is to essentially turn CO2 into a mineral carbonate for sequestration. Am awaiting further news on Carbondox.

Source: Cemtrex Inc.

Removing CO2 from Air – University of Calgary Scientists Undertake Research

Posted by on Monday, 1 March, 2010

In research conducted at the U of C, a team of researchers showed it is possible to reduce CO2 using a relatively simple machine that can capture the trace amount of CO2 present in the air.

“The thermodynamics suggests that air capture might only be a bit harder than capturing CO2 from power plants. We are trying to turn that theory into engineering reality,” said the team lead.

The U of C team has devised a new way to apply a chemical process derived from the pulp and paper industry to cut the energy cost of air capture in half, and has filed two provisional patents on their end-to-end air capture system.

Energy-efficient and cost-effective air capture could play a valuable role in complementing other approaches for reducing emissions from the transportation sector.

Keith and his team showed that they can capture CO2 directly from the air with less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide.

CO2 capture from air to me appears like pure research topic right now. With a CO2 concentration of less than 0.3%, air is possibly not the best medium from which to extract CO2. It makes far more sense to try it from the concentrated sources from where they are emitted. Guess it is fairly a no-brainer that it should cost much less to capture it from a concentrated source than from such a diffuse source.