SRI International Awarded Department of Energy Project for Carbon Capture Research
MENLO PARK, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire/ — SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development institute, announced today it has been awarded a $4.5M Department of Energy (DoE) project to evaluate the technical and economic viability of carbon dioxide capture using an ammonium carbonate-ammonium bicarbonate (AC-ABC) process at gasification plants, including integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants.
This new project is one of several projects at SRI aimed at finding cost-effective ways to recover carbon dioxide from power plants so it can be sequestered. One of the advantages of the AC-ABC process is that it removes carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide at pressure, resulting in less energy needed to capture the carbon dioxide. In addition, the AC-ABC approach has the potential to be commercialized at a low cost and in a relatively short amount of time because it does not require the development of novel materials, solvents, or reactor configurations.
“Current technologies for removing carbon dioxide from power plants are not cost-effective,” said Gopala Krishnan, Ph.D., associate director, Materials Research Laboratory at SRI. “Developing low-cost carbon capture methods for power plants is critical for the U.S. to maintain adequate power supplies while reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.”
A variety of approaches to carbon capture is needed to address both current and future power plant designs. Conventional power plants burn coal in a process that generates carbon dioxide, which can be recovered post-combustion. IGCC plants are a relatively new type of power plant that gasifies coal. Gasification produces a mixture of gases, including hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide. IGCC power plants remove the carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from the mixed gas stream before the remaining gas, mainly hydrogen, is combusted in a gas turbine. Results from this DoE-funded project can also be applied to other types of power plants that require carbon dioxide removal pre-combustion, such as hydromethanation plants.
The research project, which is estimated to be completed in 2012, will include a field test at a coal gasifier that is operated by SRI’s partner on the project, GreatPoint Energy. The results from the field test will be used to design a large-scale demonstration program for an operating power plant. GreatPoint Energy is the developer of Bluegas(TM) hydromethanation technology for converting coal into hydrogen and synthetic natural gas.
“We are convinced that capturing carbon dioxide prior to combustion is the simplest and lowest cost solution for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale,” said Andrew Perlman, GreatPoint Energy Chairman and CEO. “GreatPoint Energy is dedicated to developing new technologies such as the AC-ABC process, which we believe can dramatically hasten market acceptance of carbon capture technology.”
SRI is also committed to advancing carbon capture research and is currently using several different approaches in bench-scale pilot programs for domestic and international clients. The institute has extensive experience with carbon capture using both pre- and post-combustion techniques, and has conducted research and development to remove contaminants from gas streams for more than 20 years.
About SRI International
Silicon Valley-based SRI International is one of the world’s leading independent research and technology development organizations. SRI, which was founded by Stanford University as Stanford Research Institute in 1946 and became independent in 1970, has been meeting the strategic needs of clients and partners for more than 60 years. Perhaps best known for its introduction of interactive computing and the invention of the computer mouse, SRI has also been responsible for major advances in networking and communications, robotics, drug discovery and development, advanced materials, atmospheric research, education research, economic development, national security, and more. The nonprofit institute performs sponsored research and development for government agencies, businesses, and foundations. SRI also licenses its technologies, forms strategic alliances, and creates spin-off companies. In 2008, SRI’s consolidated revenues, including its wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, Sarnoff Corporation, were approximately $490 million.
About GreatPoint Energy
GreatPoint Energy is the leading developer of a proprietary, highly efficient catalytic process, known as hydromethanation, by which coal, petroleum coke and biomass are converted directly into low-cost, clean, pipeline-quality natural gas and hydrogen, while capturing and providing for the sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The Company has raised $140 million to date and is backed by leading investors including Suncor Energy, the Dow Chemical Company, AES Corporation, and Peabody Energy, as well as major financial institutions and venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Khosla Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Advanced Technology Ventures, and Citi’s Sustainable Development Investments. GreatPoint Energy is the winner of the 2009 GoingGreen East 50 as well as a Red Herring 100 company. To learn more, please visit www.greatpointenergy.com.
SOURCE SRI International