DOE recovery act project begins

Jun 01 2014


The project at Polk Power Plant will demonstrate warm syngas desulfurization and CO2 capture.

The Department of Energy, RTI International and Tampa Electric Company (TECO) have completed the successful startup of a pilot project to demonstrate carbon capture technology in a coal gasification unit at the Polk Power Plant Unit-1 in Tampa, Florida. 

The gasification process converts carbon-based materials such as coal, petroleum coke and biomass into syngas, which requires cleanup and conditioning steps before being used for the production of electrical power or industrial products such as chemicals, fertilizers, fuels, or hydrogen.

RTI's technology removes contaminants such as sulfur and heavy metals at warm process temperatures, eliminating the need for substantial syngas cooling and expensive heat recovery systems. This would significantly increase the thermal efficiency and reduce the capital and operating costs of new gasification-based systems when compared to conventional process technologies.

The newly installed pre-commercial demonstration facility will use about 20 percent of the raw syngas from Tampa Electric’s existing 250 megawatt electric Polk 1 coal- and petcoke-fueled integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant as its input feed stream. It will remove more than 99.9 percent of the sulfur contaminants from the raw syngas at gasifier pressure and warm process temperature. 

In addition to demonstrating warm syngas desulfurization, the RTI system also includes a water-gas-shift reactor to enrich the hydrogen content of the cleaned syngas and will demonstrate an advanced activated amine process for capture of more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from the syngas stream. Following clean-up, the hydrogen-enriched syngas will be re-introduced to the Polk 1 plant and combusted in the existing syngas turbine.

The Department of Energy has a long history of collaboration with TECO at the Polk Power Station, starting more than 20 years ago when DOE helped fund construction of the plant. 

Gas cleaning at power plants to remove contaminates like carbon dioxide, mercury, and sulfur is typically done at low temperatures. IGCC technology, or warm gas cleanup, has posed a technical challenge to scientists for more than 30 years. It has the potential to improve the energy efficiency of removing pollutants from coal power plant emissions, reducing the overall cost of capturing carbon dioxide and other contaminant emissions from power plants while also increasing reliability. 

IGCC also has the potential for local economic benefits. The technology increases the possibility that the captured carbon dioxide can be turned into a new revenue stream for operators by converting it into other uses, like fertilizer and enhanced oil recovery. The project, which is approximately $3 million under budget, included $168 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding.

RTI International
US Department of Energy


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Issue 62 - Mar - Apr 2018

CCS in the U.S.: Expanded tax credit could boost projects and start a CCS gold rush .. Moody’s: Coal will continue secular decline without CCS .. Capturing and using CO2 from ethanol STEMM-CCS: improving the safety of offshore CO2 storage .. Energy .....


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