A demonstration test for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) recovered from emissions from a coal-fired power generation plant, conducted jointly by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Southern Company Services, Inc. (SCS) (NYSE: SO), has completed an initial demonstration phase. This success brings into view the feasibility of a large-scale capture system for CO2 recovered from coal-fired power plants, which typically emit flue gas containing significant quantities of impurities. Based on this success, MHI will now accelerate its program seeking to achieve commercially viable technology for recovering CO2 from the flue gas of coal-fired plants.
The demonstration test is an integral part of a project focused on achieving recovery of CO2 from coal-fired power plant emissions on a globally unprecedented scale of 500 metric tons per day (mtpd). To conduct the test, a demonstration plant for separating and recovering CO2 was constructed on the premises of the 2,657 MW Plant Barry coal-fired power station in Alabama.
The demonstration test got under way in June 2011. After verifying the technology for recovering CO2 from the coal-fired plant flue gas, as well as recovery performance, integrated capture and sequestration demonstration testing began in August 2012. High-performance continuous and stable operation of the large-scale CO2 recovery plant was confirmed.
In this project, MHI has served as the CO2 recovery process licensor responsible for basic planning and engineering, supply of the CO2 compressors and other core machinery, and technical support during the demonstration test.
The CO2 capture demonstration plant that supplied the CO2 under this project was built jointly by MHI and SCS and is the world's largest in scale, handling some 500 mtpd. The plant consists primarily of a flue-gas scrubber, flue-gas CO2 capture/re-generation system, CO2 compression machinery, and electrical components. It has capacity to recover 150,000 metric tons of CO2 per year with recovery efficiency above 90%. For CO2 recovery the facility adopts the KM CDR Process®, which uses a proprietary KS-1 high-performance solvent for CO2 absorption and desorption that was jointly developed by MHI and the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. Compared with other CO2 capture technologies, the KM CDR Process uses significantly less energy.
With the performance of the initial demonstration phase complete, SCS and MHI are currently in discussions concerning the performance of additional demonstration phases and activities utilizing the plant.