CO2 Capture from Power Plant Flue Gas with the Mtr PolarCapTM Process: Update on Field Demonstration Tests

Kniep, J., MTR
Baker, R., MTR
Chan, K., Membrane Technology and Research, Inc.
Freeman, B., Electric Power Research Institute
Huang, I., Membrane Technology and Research
Merkel, T., Membrane Technology and Research, Inc.
Nguyen, V., Membrane Technology and Research, Inc.
Sun, Z., MTR
Wang, X., MTR

Membrane technology is an attractive option for CO2 capture because of advantages such as energy-efficient passive operation, tolerance to acid gases and oxygen, a small footprint, no use of hazardous chemicals, and no steam use requiring modifications to the existing boiler and steam turbine.

Working with DOE, MTR has developed new membranes and process designs to recover CO2 from power plant flue gas. MTR Polarisâ„¢ membranes have CO2 permeances ten times higher than standard commercial membranes, which greatly reduces the cost of a membrane capture system. These membranes are combined with novel PolarCapâ„¢ process designs for high CO2 removal rates (90%) or partial capture rates. Design calculations estimate that the PolarCap process can capture CO2 at a cost as low as $30/tonne under partial capture conditions, which is competitive with leading second generation capture approaches.

Between 2012 and 2015, MTR operated bench-scale (1 tonne CO2/day) and small pilot (20 tonnes CO2/day or 1 MWe equivalent) systems at the U.S. National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, AL. Overall, the systems accumulated over 11,000 hours of run time, demonstrated stable membrane performance and validated prototype module designs and advanced membranes under real world conditions.

After testing at NCCC, the small pilot membrane system was moved to Babcock & Wilcox’s (B&W) boiler research facility in Barberton, OH for a fully integrated recycle test of the pilot membrane unit with an appropriately sized coal-fired boiler. The field test conducted in fall 2016 demonstrated boiler operation with CO2-laden air recycled by a membrane system for the first time. Technical results from previous field tests, current small pilot tests at TCM in Norway, and future plans for a 200 tonnes CO2/day demonstration system at the Wyoming ITC will be discussed in this presentation.