GE wins DOE carbon capture pilot for power plants


Calling it "CO2 capture technology in a bottle," a team of researchers at GE’s Oil & Gas Technology Center in Oklahoma City, won close to $1 million in Phase I funding by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratories (NETL) to plan and propose a large scale pilot testing of its carbon capture technology solution.

GE chemists have developed a solution that uses a class of amino silicone compounds at various temperatures to capture carbon. These compounds are the same as those found in hair conditioners and fabric softeners.

In hair products and washing machines, these compounds are used to soften your hair or clothing. GE is using them attach to and essentially wash out CO2 gas from a power plant flue stack.

At temperatures of around 105 degrees F, the amino silicone materials attach to CO2 gas. When the heat is increased another 100 degrees F, these materials release the carbon and can then be re-used to capture more.

One of the advantages of GE’s technology is that it does not require any water, which substantially reduces the energy required to capture the carbon.

Testing of GE’s new carbon capture solution will take place at the CO2 Technology Center at Mongstad, Norway, which is the world’s largest industrial scale test facility. This $1 billion facility is fully instrumented and designed to provide technology developers with an infrastructure to subject their technologies to all the stresses that real-time operations would entail. GE is partnering with the CO2 Capture Centre in Mongstad.

As part of Phase 1 funding, GE will advance planning of their Amino-silicone CO2 capture technology towards large scale pilot testing. It is expected that two of the six phase 1 projects will be selected for Phase 2. The Phase 2 awards for construction and execution of pilot testing is anticipated by mid-2016.

The large scale testing will aim to demonstrate the technology at industrial scale and provide final confidence in the maturity of the carbon capture technology for full-scale commercial deployment, reducing emissions from power plants and other large industrial point sources of CO2.

GE’s technology development taps into decades of expertise working with amino silicone materials when GE operated a silicones business. The NETL project is part of a decade long joint cooperation between the U.S. and Norwegian energy authorities on CO2 Capture and Storage technologies.

The cooperation between the U.S. and Norwegian energy authorities in the area of carbon capture and storage dates back to 2004, when the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding.

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