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carbon-capture-system feasibility study

carbon-capture-system feasibility study
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota

analysis demonstrates scalability of innovative carbon-capture concept

In one year, a typical 550 MWe coal-fired power plant emits approximately 5 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Power-plant greenhouse-gas emission rates have generated considerable interest in finding ways to capture some of the CO2, so when the Department of Energy (DOE) announced it would be funding ongoing research of leading-edge carbon-capture technology, dozens of research organizations competed for the funds.

The Institute for Energy Studies (IES) at the University of North Dakota (UND) and Envergex were awarded one of the 14 grants in 2010 for carbon-capture research projects through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs to continue research of a dry-sorbent technology for capturing and removing up to 90 percent of carbon dioxide from existing coal-fired power-plant flue-gas streams. The novel, solid-sorbent technology (CACHYS™) captures CO2 and separates it from coal-combustion-derived flue gas using novel process chemistry and a low-cost method of heat management, along with using a low-cost sorbent.

In 2012, Barr conducted a technical and economic feasibility analysis of this innovative hybrid technology for installation in a 550 MWe coal-fired power plant (the standard size used by DOE-funded research projects for equivalent comparisons).

Barr’s analysis demonstrated that the technology can be scaled up from a concept to installation in a 550 MWe power plant. We also provided design elements and cost estimates that helped lay the groundwork for subsequent phases of the project (pilot-plant development and testing, small-demonstration-plant development and testing, and installation of a commercial-scale CACHYS system in a coal-fired power plant.