Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Des Plaines, Ill., and NRCan/CanmetENERGY-Ottawa, Canada, unveiled the new oxy-fired pressurized fluidized bed combustion (oxy-PFBC) pilot test facility at CanmetENERGY-Ottawa. The oxy-PFBC process generates electricity and heat with zero emissions by economically capturing greenhouse gases created by biomass and fossil fuel combustion. Development of the pilot test facility exemplifies the rapid response of the energy cooperative to take action in implementing sustainability commitments to combat climate change.

GTI is leading the initiative in collaboration with CanmetENERGY-Ottawa, Linde, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), GE and Penn State University with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the Canadian Clean Power Coalition (CCPC) and Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES).

Researchers previously completed a feasibility study, and efforts are now focusing on component development and pilot-plant testing. The pressurized combustion in oxygen and recycling of carbon dioxide gas eliminates the presence of nitrogen and other constituents of air, minimizing the generation of pollutants and enabling more economical CO2 capture. In a complementary project, GTI is also designing, fabricating and testing a CO2 power cycle heat exchanger for the Oxy-PFBC pilot plant to achieve even greater power cycle efficiencies.

This integrated pilot-scale test system will validate the process, mature the technologies and address technology gaps to advance progress toward the DOE carbon capture goal of demonstrating technologies and best practices that can achieve up to 98% carbon capture and reduce electricity costs by 23-30% relative to current CO2 capture technology. For a commercial-scale plant, this level of CO2 capture is equivalent to removing 145,000 cars from the road.