Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI will lead $3.3 million oxy-combustion pilot plant study

For immediate release

San Antonio — Aug. 29, 2016 — Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is leading a team to help formulate a plan for an oxy-combustion pilot plant under a $3.3 million project from the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

“Oxyfuel combustion has the potential to provide carbon emissions-free, high efficiency electricity in next-generation advanced power plants,” said Danny Deffenbaugh, vice president of SwRI’s Mechanical Engineering Division. “SwRI continues to develop key technology components to make this clean and inexpensive power possible.”

“As our nation continues to develop new energy alternatives, it’s prudent we also ensure our current energy sources are as efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible as possible,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20). “While coal is a finite resource, it continues to play a role in powering the United States. SwRI’s project will help take our nation’s use of coal into the 21st century, and I’m proud it has received this substantial DOE grant to further this innovative work.”

The objective of the project is to provide a detailed design, specifications, cost, and construction schedule for a 10 mega-watt scale combustion pilot plant. The pilot plant, which will be built under a separate DOE project, will validate the performance of flameless pressurized oxy-combustion technology developed on a previous DOE project for a broad range of coals and provide an understanding of what is needed to build a commercial-scale unit.

Flameless pressurized oxy-combustion technology reduces the cost of coal-fired electrical plants by 20 percent, compared to a standard coal-based power plant. The pilot plant will prove that the high-firing temperature and pressure of a flameless combustor will allow the use of a wide range of high-to-low rank coals and lignite, while still meeting emission requirements.

SwRI and team members ITEA S.p.A., Jacobs Energy, EPRI, General Electric Global Research, and Peter Reineck Associates will collaborate on various aspects of the two-year project, which is expected to be underway in October 2016.

For more information, contact SwRI Solutions.