August 17, 2012 — Southwest Research Institute and industry collaborator Thar Energy LLC have received $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate a novel, supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) power cycle using pressurized oxy-combustion, a process that uses pure oxygen instead of air as the primary oxidant. The contract award is one of eight given by DOE to support the development of carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies for coal-fired plant emissions.
"The goal of this one-year effort is two-fold: to achieve 90 percent CO2 removal at no more than a 35 percent increase in the cost of electricity and to achieve high overall plant efficiencies with 90 percent CO2 capture and compression to 2,200 psi," said Dr. Klaus Brun, a program director in SwRI's Mechanical Engineering Division.
"The proposed power cycle offers a step up in overall system efficiency while producing an output stream of sequestration-ready CO2 at pipeline pressures. The power cycle leverages developments in pressurized oxy-combustion technology, an SwRI-developed cryogenic CO2 compression scheme and recent developments in supercritical CO2 power cycles," Brun added.
Project objectives include demonstrating the advantages of the proposed power cycle using an engineering design analysis to refine the cycle, demonstrating cycle efficiencies and identifying critical components that have a significant impact on cycle performance.