Hoping to speed up the viability of carbon capture and sequestration, the U.S. Dept. of Energy on Sept. 7 awarded more than $575 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to 22 different CCS research projects.
The DOE gave funds in four areas: three projects will receive $312 million for large-scale testing of advanced gasification technologies; four projects will get $123 million to research advanced turbo-machinery to lower emissions from industrial sources; five projects will share $90 million to research how to increase the efficiency and cut costs of post-combustion carbon capture; and 10 projects that already have received some stimulus funding will receive an additional $50 million to study the characteristics of geologic sites for carbon storage.
DOE granted the largest award to the Research Triangle Institute, a non-profit in Research Triangle Park, N.C. RTI received $168.8 million to design, build and operate a 50-MW warm-synthesis gas, carbon capture and sequestration project at Tampa Electric’s 250-MW Polk Power Station in Polk County, Fla. The technology would remove contaminants at high temperatures, eliminating the need for expensive heat-recovery and cooling systems. The project will capture and store about 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually and is expected to be operating in 2013. The Shaw Group, one of several partners in the project, is expected to have overall engineering responsibility for the process components of the project.
The awards came a month after a presidential task force determined that CCS is viable and that 10 pilot projects should be operating by 2016. The 2009 stimulus bill set aside $3.4 billion for development. DOE is aggressively pursuing CCS because half of U.S. electricity comes from coal.
Tampa Electric, with RTI, received $169 million,the largest CCS award.