RTI International to expand R&D efforts on CO2 capture

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — As part of an effort to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants, the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has awarded RTI International two new projects to develop and test transformational technologies for CO2 capture. 

"Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon capture and storage remains one of the great challenges in our era of abundant fossil fuels, which are linked to climate change," said Markus Lesemann, Ph.D., senior director for business development in RTI's Energy Technology Division. 

Fossil fuel-fired power plants are expected to continue to play a critical role in global electricity generation, especially for base-load generation. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an important approach to significantly reduce domestic and global CO2 emissions. RTI's new technology developments are aimed to further reduce the cost and energy penalty associated with carbon capture to better prepare for a low-carbon future. 

Under a $2.7 million award, RTI researchers will continue the development and scale-up of RTI's non-aqueous solvent based CO2 capture technology with engineering partner Linde Group and Norwegian research entity SINTEF. 

The process currently is being tested at small scale in RTI's facility in North Carolina, under funding from DOE-NETL. The new award will allow the process to transition to large bench scale/small pilot testing on actual flue gas, substantially leveraging SINTEF's existing pilot facility outside Trondheim, Norway.  

If successful, the new project will position the technology for large scale slip stream testing. The overall program is also substantially supported by CLIMIT, the national Norwegian program for CO2 capture R&D, under an international cooperation framework between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

A second, $1.6 million award will allow RTI to develop novel solid CO2 adsorbents which have additional step-out performance and cost savings potential compared to current CO2 sorbents that RTI is testing under an existing NETL-funded effort. These novel sorbent approaches are based on hybrid metal organic frameworks (MOFs) and dendrimers, unique materials with advantageous physical and chemical properties for CO2 adsorption. 

If the initial work is successful, RTI's substantial expertise and existing testing capabilities at lab and bench scale will allow for a clear path to accelerated scale-up and demonstration for these new 3rd generation sorbent materials. 

"RTI's technology development program will remain focused on cost-effective CO2 capture process technologies that can be implemented with lowest possible negative impact on electricity prices," Lesemann said. 

RTI International's Energy Technology Division develops advanced process technologies for application in the energy and chemicals sectors. For the last 15 years, RTI has been developing CO2 capture technologies with funding from DOE, industry and international funding agencies. 

 

Highlights

  • The U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory has awarded RTI two new projects to develop and test transformational technologies for CO2 capture
  • Under a $2.7 million award, RTI researchers will continue the development and scale-up of RTI's non-aqueous solvent based CO2 capture technology