Ion Engineering and the University of Kentucky will both receive Department of Energy funding for carbon capture technology.
The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy will provide $15 million to support Ion’s CO2 capture 1 MWe pilot project at Nebraska Public Power District’s Gerald Gentleman Station in Sutherland, Neb., the company says. Ion and partners will contribute another $4 million in matching funds bringing the total to $19 million for the 45-month project.
In addition to NPPD, partners include the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) and the University of Alabama Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
The DOE Office of Fossil Energy has also selected the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research for the three-year, $3 million project. CAER has developed a catalyst to speed up the absorption rate of the solvent used in the carbon capture process, so the scrubber can be much smaller.
A major cost associated with commercial CO2 capture is the size of the scrubber needed to handle the volume of flue gas produced by a power plant. The CAER technology could reduce the cost of carbon capture by 56 percent, compared to the current DOE reference case, the university says.
The funding awards come on the heels of EPA regulations proposed Sept. 20 to sharply reduce carbon emissions from new power plants. The rules pose serious challenges to the coal industry, which currently lacks cost-effective technology that would enable it to comply with the proposed lower limits.
The DOE has goal of halving technology available by 2020 that can achieve a 90 percent CO2 capture rate, at a cost of $40 per metric ton of CO2 captured.
In other carbon capture news, Eco Power Solutions, a provider of multi-pollutant air quality control systems, says that it has achieved capture rates of up to 90 percent with its patented CO2 capture technology, as demonstrated at EPS’ Technology Center in Louisville, Kentucky using its MP-AQCS (Multi-Pollutant Air Quality Control System) Reactor Module.
EPS’ CO2 Capture Module can be fitted independently of its multi–pollutant emission control technology for coal, natural gas and other fossil fuel based plants with existing AQCS equipment already installed on a given facility.
The company says the captured CO2 has a purity of over 90 percent, which can be utilized in many CO2 based applications, including enhanced oil recovery, a carbon sequestration and revenue earning opportunity that requires large quantities of anthropogenic CO2 to reach its potential.