Carbon Capture - Large Pilot-Scale

The U.S. still has major generating capacity burning coal and Illinois, in particular, has the largest reserves of bituminous coal in the nation. ISTC and the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), both part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, and their project partners are researching the feasibility of a large pilot scale demonstration of carbon capture technology at two sites in Illinois. The projects are funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory - Department of Energy (DOE-NETL).

Abbott Power Plant Pilot Tests

Abbott Power Plant: brick building with tall think windows and two smoke stacks.The researchers looked at the large pilot scale testing of an advanced solvent based CO2 capture process aimed at capturing ~300 TPD CO2 at 90% capture rate from existing coal fired boilers at the Abbott Power Plant on the campus of the University of Illinois (UIUC). It was proposed to use the Linde-BASF novel amine-based advanced CO2 capture technology, which has already shown the potential to be cost-effective, energy efficient and compact at the 0.5-1.5 MWe pilot scales. The overall objective of this project was to design and install a scaled-up system of nominal 15 MWe size, integrate it with the Abbott Power Plant flue gas, steam and other utility systems, and demonstrate the viability of continuous operation under realistic conditions with high efficiency and capacity.

Scientists and engineers at ISTC, ISGS, and U of I have teamed up with the Linde Group, BASF, Affiliated Engineers Inc., The Affiliated Construction Services, and Washington University, St. Louis to demonstrate post-combustion CO2 capture technology incorporating BASF’s novel amine-based process along with Linde's process and engineering innovations. This technology offers significant benefits compared to other solvent-based processes as it aims to reduce the regeneration energy requirements using novel solvents that are stable under the coal-fired power plant feed gas conditions. Additionally, Linde has evaluated a number of options and identified engineering solutions for capital cost reduction in large solvent-based post-combustion capture plants. Abbott is a cogeneration facility which has been a leader in adopting and demonstrating new emissions control technologies such as flue gas desulfurization scrubber installation in 1987 to remove sulfur oxides from flue gas.The project team has developed approaches for the long-term utilization of the captured carbon. It is envisioned that the facility will serve as a test bed in the future for a variety of pilot scale utilization technologies.

The Abbott Plant project was funded for Phase I only: pre-FEED study from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016.

New Award for Additional Site

The team received funding from DOE in spring 2018 for a new proposal that seeks to establish the same carbon capture system at an additional coal-fired power plant. In Phase I, a feasibility study for a 10 MWe capture system will be conducted. If this second system is established, then proposals for Phases II (design) and III (construction/operation) will be submitted.

The following Phase I objectives will contribute towards this goal:

  1. establishing the feasibility of installing a 10 MWe capture facility at one of two potential host sites;
  2. selecting a host site based on these studies;
  3. completing an Environmental Information Volume (EIV) for the chosen host site;
  4. obtaining necessary commitments from the selected site and all team members necessary for Phase II (Design), including a FEED contractor, a NEPA contractor, and any required technology partners or vendors;
  5. updating the preliminary cost and schedule estimates for Phases II (Design) and III (Construction/Operation); and
  6. securing cost share commitments for Phase II and developing a plan for securing cost share commitments for Phase III.

The Recipient was awarded a previous project (DE-FE0026588) to install a 15 MWe capture facility at Abbott Power Plant and to bring the proposed technology to a Phase II design and Phase III build stage. Results from project DE-FE0026588 will be leveraged in the execution of this Phase I project and therefore the risks and project costs will be reduced for this effort.