Alabama carbon capture pilot-scale project begins testing

Ernest C. Gaston Electric Generating Plant

The National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) has begun pilot-scale testing of a cost-effective advanced technology for capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue gas in Wilsonville, Alabama.

Under an agreement with the Energy Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Linde LLC is operating a 1-MW pilot project that is expected to capture 30 tons of CO2 per day. The project will utilize Linde-BASF CO2-capture technology on coal-derived flue gas. The technology will absorb CO2 from the flue gas at a low temperature in the absorption column; the solvent will then transfer to a stripping column where steam is added to heat the solvent, reversing the chemical reaction and releasing high-purity CO2 for compression and pipeline transport.

The NCCC's testing facility also includes a post-combustion carbon-capture facility from Alabama Power’s Gaston power plant Unit 5—an 880-MW pulverized coal unit.

The 18-month test program consists of three phases:

* start-up;
* operation with flue gas and solvent recirculation, parametric testing, and long-duration testing for at least 60 days; and
* long-duration testing, which will evaluate steady-state performance with power plant cycling, pilot unit reliability, solvent stability, and the emissions profile.

Following pilot testing, Linde and BASF will jointly pursue larger-scale testing opportunities, leading to full-scale commercialization in the 2025 timeframe.

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