Production of power from coal inevitably generates carbon dioxide (CO2) as a by-product. To mitigate global climate change, this CO2 must be captured and sequestered. With current technologies, separating CO2 from flue gas accounts for about 70% of the total cost for CO2 capture and sequestration. Among a number of emerging technologies that are being evaluated for CO2 capture, membrane technology is attractive because of its inherent advantages such as high energy efficiency, a small footprint, environmentally friendly operation (no chemicals), mechanical simplicity, and proven reliability.
Working with NETL, MTR has developed new membranes and process designs to recover CO2 from power plant flue gas. The membranes have CO2 fluxes ten times higher than standard commercial membranes, combined with useful CO2/N2 selectivities. Based on our best current process design, these membranes offer the potential to capture 90% of the CO2 in the flue gas using about 12% of the power produced by the plant, at a cost of $20-$30/ton of CO2 captured. Successful commercialization will provide a technology that can be used in the near-term to reliably retrofit existing coal-fired power plants.
Currently, MTR is working with Arizona Public Service (APS) to conduct a field test of this membrane CO2 capture process at APS' Cholla, Arizona coal-fired power plant. The demonstration will capture 1 ton CO2/day from real flue gas starting at the beginning of 2010. Lab and field test results to date and future plans will be discussed in this presentation.
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