Alstom reports success in developing carbon capture technologies

Mike Messenger, Ranjit Bharvirkar, Bill Golemboski, Charles A. Goldman, Steven R. Schiller LBNL-3277E Normal.dotm 0 0 2010-04-20T15:40:00Z 2010-04-20T15:43:00Z 1 775 4422 36 8 5430 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-style-parent:””; font-size:12.0pt;”Times New Roman”;}

Pittsburgh, May 14, 2010 — Alstom Power officials this week reported several new milestones associated with the company’s efforts to develop technology solutions to capture carbon dioxide emitted from power plants and industrial facilities fueled by coal or natural gas.

At an industry conference on carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), Alstom Power speakers provided technical results on a successful chilled ammonia demonstration project in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin and an update on the promising advanced-amine technology that Alstom is developing jointly with The Dow Chemical Co.

Officials said the Pleasant Prairie demonstration project, undertaken in partnership with plant owner We Energies and the Electric Power Research Institute:

* Captured 90 percent of CO2 in the emissions it was treating,

* Released less than 10 parts per million of ammonia,

* Operated for over 7,000 hours, and

* Produced high quality CO2 of 99.5 percent purity or better.

The results had been reported earlier but now have been confirmed, for the conditions tested, as a result of independent testing performed by EPRI.

The Pleasant Prairie demonstration project, which used a 1.7-MW (electric) slipstream from the plant, began in June 2008 and concluded in October 2009. It paved the way for a larger demonstration project at American Electric Power’s Mountaineer power plant in New Haven, West Virginia.

The Mountaineer project, which continues to operate in line with expectations, is the first in the world to capture and store CO2 at a coal-fired power plant.

Alstom officials also reported on the initial results of a demonstration project that captures CO2 from the flue gas of a coal-fired boiler at the Dow-owned chemical facility in South Charleston, West Virginia. The pilot plant uses proprietary advanced-amine technology jointly developed by Alstom and Dow under a joint development agreement.

The pilot, which was first announced last year, has:

* Captured 90 percent of CO2 in the emissions it was treating,

* Operated for over 4,500 hours and
* Produced high-quality CO2 of 99.5 percent or better.

DOW UCARSOL FGC 3000, the advanced-amine solvent used in the process, has performed well on a variety of flue gases or plant emissions, with several levels of pre-treatments.

The system has maintained water neutrality, one of the goals of optimizing the process. The pilot is scheduled to continue to operate until Fall, 2011.

Officials also provided updates on the oxy-firing technologies the company is developing. Since September 2008, a full PC oxy-combustion system has been under evaluation at the Vattenfall Schwarze Pumpe Oxyfuel pilot plant (30 MWth) with over 6000 hours of operation, of which 3,700 hours are in oxy mode.

In addition, Alstom, with co-funding from the US DOE and other organizations, is conducting pilot testing at the 15 MWth scale since August 2009 to validate oxy tangentially fired boiler design and operation.

The operation of the two pilots was good during both air and oxy-firing testing and conditions could be easily changed and controlled. The pilots have been operated under various oxy process scenarios and produced flue gas containing more than 90 percent CO2 on a dry basis.

Finally, Alstom Power speakers also reported on several other promising carbon capture technologies such as chemical looping, which is a type of oxy-combustion but avoids the cost and energy loss of an air separation unit to produce oxygen.

For example, they reported on the construction of a 3-MW (thermal) “chemical looping” project in Windsor, Connecticut, a prototype project designed to get data on this innovative technology that is less developed but has the potential to offer the lowest overall cost for CO2 removal.

Patrick Fragman, Alstom’s VP, Environmental Control Systems and CO2 Capture Systems, said, “These and other successful carbon capture demonstration projects further reinforce the viability of carbon capture. We have moved past the stage of proving the technologies and into the stage of improving them. The challenge now is to capitalize on this unique experience and transition to large-scale demonstration projects that allow us to focus on improving the efficiencies and economics of this proven technology.”

In all, Alstom has a total of eleven demonstration projects operating or actively being developed to optimize the three major technologies it is pursuing: chilled ammonia, advanced amines, and oxy-firing. The projects are taking place in Europe and North America, reinforcing Alstom’s standing as a global company committed to developing technology solutions that can be used around the world.

 

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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