Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – and its partner The Shaw Group are moving to the next stage of commercialization for technology RTI developed for scrubbing of energy produced at power plants.

First announced a year ago, the project involves means of removing contaminants produced by fuels that are utilized at gasification power plants.

The next step involves engineering and planning for a 50-megawatt capacity commercial demonstration unit. It would be built at a Tampa Electric Company plant that utilizes gasification. Funding is being provided by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

"This 50 megawatt scale-up will mitigate the remaining technical risks before full commercial deployment," said David Myers, vice president of the Engineering and Technology Unit at RTI. "Beyond application in the power industry, the technology also holds tremendous potential to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen, chemicals such as methanol and ammonia, and fuels through gasification of coal or other low-value carbonaceous feedstocks, while enabling carbon capture through conventional or advanced CO2 removal technologies."

RTI has already tested the process at a chemical facility in Tennessee, working with Eastman Chemical.

Gasification turns carbon-based fuels such as biomass, coal and petroleum into syngas for production of electricity.

According to RTI, the process improves efficiency while also lowering capital and operating costs for gasification plants.

“Cost-effective syngas clean-up technology is a key to achieving near-zero emissions from gasification-based power generation and chemical plants,” RTI says. “Additionally, gasification-based systems provide the lowest cost option for capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide from coal use.”

The RTI technology doesn’t require cooling of syngas before a cleaning process begins,

The Shaw Group works with energy, chemical, environmental, infrastructure and emergency response clients worldwide.

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