RTI International to perform large-scale tests of its innovative carbon capture technology for cleaner, less costly power

Technology may also improve sustainability of U.S. fossil fuel resources

An aerial view of a coal-fired power plant on the west coast of Florida.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – October 23, 2018RTI International announced today its participation in a 2-1/2 year collaborative project to advance its non-aqueous solvent (NAS)-based CO2 capture technology for post-combustion CO2 capture at coal-fired power plants at The Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT14) conference in Melbourne, Australia. Using the existing large-scale pilot infrastructure of one of its’ partners at the Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) in Norway, RTI will test both materials and processes. Tests will demonstrate the scalability and commercial potential of RTI’s NAS technology for CO2 capture.

The key performance feature of the RTI NAS process is its low solvent regeneration energy requirement, which leads to substantially lower CO2 capture costs when compared with conventional, state-of-the-art aqueous amine-based post combustion CO2 capture (PCCC) technologies. 

"We all want to pay less money for clean energy derived from coal,” said Dennis Gilmore, senior director at RTI International’s Center for Energy, Environment & Engineering. “RTI’s new technology works toward that goal by helping to bend the overall cost curve for energy produced at coal fired power plants with CO2 capture and ultimately conserving our nation’s fossil fuel resources.”

Initial tests show that energy savings for CO2 capture using the NAS technology would be more than 40%.  Reduced CO2 emissions result in reduced energy costs, one of the most important factors to meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) 30% cost reduction goal for electricity generated at new coal-fired power plants with CO2 capture by 2030.

“To put that in perspective, the NAS technology will be demonstrated at a 12-Megawatt equivalent pilot plant for CO2 capture at TCM. A 12-MW plant can power about 12,000 homes and produce 240 tons of CO2 per day.” said Shaojun Zhou, RTI director, Center for Energy, Environment & Engineering and the principal investigator on the project.

The project is a collaboration among RTI and several partners. A key goal is to advance the competitiveness of our nation’s fossil-based power generation infrastructure by reducing energy consumption and capital costs associated with next-generation carbon capture systems. Primary funding has been provided by the DOE with cost sharing among the partners. Partners in this collaboration include: SINTEF, TCM, EPRI, and Clariant.  Each partner will perform a different role:

  • SINTEF- provides support for solvent qualification testing and operations support during operation of the pilot plant at TCM
  • TCM- project’s host site and operation of the TCM pilot plant
  • EPRI- lead process performance assessment and the TEA efforts
  • Clariant- anticipated solvent supplier

RTI will be presenting on this technology on October 23 during Session 4A – Amine Pilot Plants I, at The Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference. To learn more, visit our event page.

In addition to this 2½ year project, RTI has been notified of an award for another project from the Department of Energy focusing on Emissions Mitigation Technology for Advanced Water-Lean Solvent Based CO2 Capture Processes. This project, led by Dr. Jak Tanthana, will further strengthen RTI’s global position on carbon capture in collaboration with SINTEF.

The Office of Fossil Energy, part of DOE, funds research and development projects to reduce the risk and cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the Nation’s fossil resources.