(376a) Oxycombustion Technology Research and the National Energy Technology Laboratory Carbon Sequestration Program
As the existing fleet of power plants continues to age, operators of coal fired power plants are becoming more concerned with current and future environmental requirements, which may include mitigating carbon dioxide emissions. To address these concerns, the Department of Energy established its Carbon Sequestration Program administered by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Under this program various carbon dioxide capture technologies are being developed. The overall goals for carbon capture are to develop technologies that will allow for the reduction of 90 percent or greater of CO2 emissions per net kWh or other unit of process output at less than 10 percent increase in cost of electricity by 2012. Oxycombustion is a carbon capture technology where the fuel is burned in oxygen rather than air, resulting in a highly pure carbon dioxide exhaust that requires little separation. Barriers for oxycombustion include the high cost associated with oxygen production through cryogenic air separation and energy loss due to large quantities of CO2 exhaust recycle to control combustion temperatures. Current research focuses on the testing and scale up of oxycombustion systems utilizing cryogenic oxygen supply with various coal types and process configurations. Research is also being conducted to develop new techniques for the oxycombustion of coal integrated with the oxygen production process. Systems analyses have been conducted to aid in the determination of the commercialization potential of this promising carbon capture technology along with the determination of performance requirements necessary to meet DOE goals.
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