NET Power project achieves first fire milestone

Jun 02 2018

NET Power has successfully achieved first fire of its supercritical carbon dioxide demonstration power plant and test facility located in La Porte, Texas.

First fire is a critical milestone for the demonstration plant, as it validates the fundamental operability and technical foundation of NET Power’s new power system, which is designed to produce low-cost electricity from natural gas while generating near-zero atmospheric emissions, including full CO2 capture.  The achievement also confirms the operation of Toshiba’s combustor at commercial scale, as several 50MWth combustors will be used together in NET Power’s 300MWe commercial facilities.  

Firing of the combustor involves the integrated operation of the full NET Power process.  Following rigorous testing, the combustor will be integrated with the turbine and power will be generated.  NET Power is targeting the global deployment of 300MWe-class commercial-scale plants beginning as early as 2021.  

The plant is designed to demonstrate NET Power’s Allam Cycle technology, which uses a new turbine and combustor developed specifically for the process by Toshiba. Using carbon dioxide (CO2) as a working fluid to drive a combustion turbine, the Allam Cycle eliminates virtually all emissions from natural gas power generation without requiring expensive, efficiency-reducing carbon capture equipment. 

In parallel with these demonstration plant tests, NET Power is advancing the development of commercial-scale 300MWe natural gas plants.  NET Power is working on projects with power generation, oil and gas, and industrial companies in the U.S. and globally, as well as a number of governmental agencies abroad. 

With the passage of 45Q carbon capture tax credit reform in the U.S. and the demand for low-cost CO2 in industrial processes that use and sequester CO2, the company sees a large demand for NET Power plants and Toshiba turbines, beginning in the very near term. Existing natural gas plants burn natural gas with air, which is a mix of oxygen and nitrogen.  These technologies emit CO2, which is difficult and expensive to separate from the nitrogen and residual oxygen.  Unfortunately, this has made carbon capture uneconomic for traditional power plants. 

NET Power addresses the cost hurdles of older technologies with a novel process—an oxy-fuel, supercritical CO2 power cycle—that produces electricity efficiently while inherently eliminating all air emissions.  The system burns natural gas with oxygen, as opposed to air. Additionally, instead of using steam, the cycle uses high-pressure CO2 to turn a turbine, in effect turning the CO2 problem into the climate solution. 

NET Power produces only electricity, liquid water and pipeline-ready CO2, as well as valuable argon and nitrogen, all while operating as efficiently as most natural gas power plants in operation today. Additionally, for a small reduction in efficiency, the technology can operate without water. The technology will serve as an affordable and reliable cornerstone of the world’s clean energy future.  

NET Power is a collaboration between Exelon Generation, McDermott, and 8 Rivers Capital.  Constructed over a 2-year period, the company’s 50-megawatt thermal (25MWe) demonstration plant is the world’s only industrial-scale supercritical carbon dioxide-based power plant and CO2 cycle test facility.  

Net Power

Previous: ArcelorMittal and LanzaTech break ground on blast furnace carbon capture project

Next: UK commits £21.5 million to CCUS innovation

Issue 88 - July - Aug 2021

CCUS in Australia - CO2CRC: Outcomes of the Otway Stage 3 project .. CSIRO amine-based Direct Air Capture demonstration .. Xodus eyes CCS opportunity Tata Chemicals opens UK’s first industrial scale CCUS plant .. Nuada: A Step-Change for Commercial .....