Warm-Syngas Cleanup Technology

Large-Scale Pilot Demonstration at Tampa Electric on Track

As part of a national effort to produce cleaner energy from fossil sources, RTI has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to lead a team to demonstrate our novel warm-syngas cleanup technology at Tampa Electric's (TECO) Polk Power Station in Polk County, FL.

Our technology removes contaminants such as sulfur and heavy metals from syngas generated during coal gasification. The $168.8 million, 50 megawatt-scale project will also test the large-scale capture of CO2 from TECO's gasification plant. Funding for this project is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Successful pilot testing of our cleanup technology at Eastman Chemical's gasification plant (Kingsport, TN) led to the award of this pre-commercial demonstration project at TECO. Originally announced in 2010, the project achieved mechanical completion on schedule in January 2014. 

TECO power station
Brian Turk and Ben Gardner discuss construction at TECO's Polk plant

Our project is a critical component of DOE's efforts to develop breakthrough technologies that utilize U.S. coal in a clean and efficient way for production of power, chemicals, and fuels. The project consists of long-term testing of our warm-syngas sulfur removal process and multicontaminant removal units (for removal of mercury, ammonia, chlorine, arsenic, etc.). A portion of the CO2 in the syngas will be captured using commercial CO2 separation technology.

Project Partners

  • Tampa Electric Company—Host site; overseeing CO2 capture and storage
  • BASF—Providing aMDEA technology for CO2 capture from syngas
  • Eastman Chemical Company—Providing consultation and support services during engineering and operation
  • Clariant (former Süd-Chemie, Inc.)—Manufacturing RTI's proprietary RTI-3 sorbent and provision of other catalysts and sorbents
  • AMEC KamTech, Inc.—Engineering, procurement, and construction
  • CH2M Hill—Supporting RTI as Owner's Engineer in the management of the project

Improving the Gasification Process

Our technology removes sulfur and heavy metals from gasification syngas at high temperatures, eliminating the need for cooling and expensive heat recovery systems. This increases the thermal efficiency and reduces the capital and operating costs compared to conventional contaminant removal technology. Cost-effective syngas cleanup is also key to achieve near-zero emissions from gasification-based chemical plants, for which our technology is well suited.