New process can achieve negative CO2 emissions from biomass-coal blends
Commissioning has been successfully completed on a new 1 megawatt pilot thermal plant in Ottawa, Canada, to advance the development of an oxygen-fired pressurised fluidised bed combustion (Oxy-PFBC) process.
The Oxy-PFBC process generates electricity and heat with close to zero emissions by capturing the greenhouse gases created by biomass and coal combustion.
A group of companies, including the Gas Technology Institute, US Department of Energy (DOE), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and CanmetENERGY-Ottowa, are collaborating to validate the new process, mature the technologies and address any technology gaps. The project aims to advance the commercialisation of carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies.
The Oxy-PFBC process uses pressurised combustion of oxygen and recycling of carbon dioxide to eliminate the presence of nitrogen and other constituents of air, minimising the generation of pollutants and allowing the more efficient clean-up of CO2. The Oxy-PFBC combustor is expected to be one third the size of a traditional combustor, and less than half the cost, saving hundreds of millions of dollars for commercial sized plants. These reductions will then be translated into lower electricity costs.
Significantly, pressurised fluidised bed combustion can result in electricity production from coal with nearly zero emissions, while biomass-coal blends can actually achieve negative emissions.
With a feasibility test already completed, the researchers are now focusing on component development and pilot plant testing.