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 conducting a large pilot scale demonstration (15 MWe) of carbon capture technology at the Abbott Power Plant (Figure 1) on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The project is funded by the National Energy Technology Laboratory - Department of Energy (DOE-NETL).

Abbott Power Plant Pilot Tests

The researchers are planning 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 is 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 is 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 (Figure 2).

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 has been started with Phase I: pre-FEED study from October 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016, and will finish with the proposed Phase II: design, build and operate from 2017-2021 (Total project cost of $75 Million with $60 Million from U.S. Department of Energy and $15 Million cost share) (Figure 3).

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. This approach fits well into the US DOE goals and Linde-BASF’s overall post-combustion capture technology progression plan to test the economical validity of the complete carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS) chain and achieve commercial application by 2025.

  Abbott Power Plant: brick building with tall think windows and two smoke stacks.
Figure 1: Abbott Power Plant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  A vibrantly colored three dimensional model of a high-pressure carbon dioxide capture unit.
Figure 2: Potential site layout plan and Utilities for the Carbon Capture Unit at Abbott Power Plant

  Abbot power plant proposed plans
Figure 3: Three-dimensional isometric image of Linde/BASF carbon capture unit