Process generates electricity, heat with zero emissions

By Gas Technology Institute | October 20, 2016

High-level government officials and special invited guests recently attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the construction and commissioning of an oxy-fired pressurized fluidized bed combustion (oxy-PFBC) pilot test facility at CanmetENERGY-Ottawa.

The event, hosted by Gas Technology Institute and NRCan/CanmetENERGY-Ottawa, celebrates the cooperation between the U.S. and Canada on an oxy-PFBC process that can generate electricity and heat with zero emissions by economically capturing greenhouse gases created by biomass and fossil fuel combustion.

The commissioning comes quickly on the heels of the North American Leaders’ Summit hosted in Ottawa in late June 2016. At that meeting, U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico announced initiatives to enhance North America’s economic competitiveness and expand efforts on climate change, clean energy, and the environment. Development of the pilot test facility exemplifies the rapid response of the energy cooperative to take action in implementing sustainability commitments made in Paris to combat climate change.

“This project demonstrates the important role clean energy technologies play in our transition to a lower-carbon economy. Canada and the United States share a bold vision for our continent: a vision based on collaboration, and one that secures North America’s place as one of the world’s most dynamic energy regions. We will continue to work together to meet our climate change objectives, increase competitiveness, and support employment opportunities,” said Kim Rudd, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada, who addressed guests at the ceremony.

Douglas Hollett, U.S. Department of Energy Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, was also at the ribbon-cutting event. “The project is a major step forward for carbon capture, utilization, and storage,” he said. “It also highlights the importance of the long-standing U.S.-Canadian collaboration on clean energy technology development.”

GTI is leading the initiative in collaboration with CanmetENERGY-Ottawa, Linde, Electric Power Research Institute, GE, and Penn State University with support from the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory, the Canadian Clean Power Coalition, and Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions.

Researchers previously completed a feasibility study, and efforts are now focusing on component development and pilot-plant testing. The pressurized combustion in oxygen and recycling of carbon dioxide gas eliminates the presence of nitrogen and other constituents of air, minimizing the generation of pollutants and enabling more economical CO2 capture. In a complementary project, GTI is also designing, fabricating, and testing a supercritical CO2 power cycle heat exchanger for the Oxy-PFBC pilot plant to achieve even greater power cycle efficiencies.

This integrated pilot-scale test system will validate the process, mature the technologies, and address technology gaps to advance progress toward the DOE carbon capture goal of demonstrating technologies and best practices that can achieve up to 98 percent carbon capture and reduce electricity costs by 23-30 percent relative to current CO2 capture technology. For a commercial-scale plant, this level of CO2 capture is equivalent to removing 145,000 cars from the road.