By Gary Thomas
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $700,000 to Southwest Research Institute and industry partner, Thar Energy, for the demonstration of an innovative supercritical carbon dioxide power cycle utilizing a process called oxy-combustion that utilizes pure oxygen as the primary oxidant in place of air.
This grant is one of the eight contract awards presented by the U.S. Department of Energy to promote research in the advancement of carbon capture, storage and utilization technologies for emissions from coal-fired plants.
Project goals include the demonstration of the benefits of the proposed power cycle with the help of an engineering design analysis to optimize the cycle, determining key components that play a major role on cycle performance and demonstrating cycle efficiencies.
Dr. Klaus Brun, a Program Director the Mechanical Engineering Division of Southwest Research Institute, stated that objectives of this one-year project are to achieve a removal of 90% carbon dioxide at an electricity cost that should not exceed 35%, and to realize high overall plant efficiency with carbon dioxide capture of 90% and compression to 2,200 psi.
The proposed power cycle boosts the overall system efficiency while generating a sequestration-ready carbon dioxide output stream at pipeline pressures. The power cycle benefits from advancements in pressurized oxy-combustion technology, a cryogenic carbon dioxide compression scheme developed by Southwest Research Institute, as well as the latest advancements in supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles, concluded Brun.