Illustrative Technical Accomplishments

Because the largest sources of U.S. and Chinese greenhouse gas emissions are from coal used to generate electricity, ACTC is focused on developing technologies that will provide cleaner, more efficient, and affordable power. ACTC is spearheading the development of technologies associated with clean coal power generation and transformation, low-cost capture technologies, and geological sequestration practices. These technologies will provide energy savings and economic development opportunities to both the United States and China, as well as curtail greenhouse gas emissions. ACTC has successfully developed models that provide cost estimates for carbon capture and storage that will assist in the implementation of such projects.

Illustrative Technical Accomplishments

ACTC researchers completed an economic and technical analysis of post-combustion carbon capture using novel amine capture technology. The technology was deployed on a power plant in China, and the costs were compared to a similarly retrofitted power plant in the United States. The analysis concluded that the retrofitted technology would cost US$60–65 per metric ton of CO2 captured. The lower end of the cost range stems from benefits related to mixed amines. In China, costs of the technology have been reported to be US$30 per metric ton of CO2 captured. The analysis is an important contribution to power companies that are considering carbon reduction strategies, and it provides a well-documented boundary on post-combustion carbon capture.

China Collaborator: Huaneng Group Clean Energy Research Institute

U.S. Collaborators: Duke Energy, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

Chinese and American researchers collaborated to build carbon capture, transportation, and storage simulation models, which led to the first basin scale CO2 source-sink matching analysis in the Ordos Basin in China. Such models can lead to optimization techniques for CO2 source-sink solutions in Chinese and U.S. basins, and they can assist policy makers in the planning and analysis of carbon capture and storage projects.

China Collaborators: Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics – Chinese Academy of Sciences, China University of Mining and Technology

U.S. Collaborators: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Indiana Geologic Survey, West Virginia University

ACTC scientists demonstrated CO2 capture and recycling using microalgae at a coal-fired power plant by using an in-house designed closed loop that was cultured using flue gas as the CO2 source. Researchers developed a protocol for low-cost algae harvesting and dewatering and demonstrated the conversion of algal lipids to diesel-range hydrocarbons. Markets for higher-value algal biomass products, such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are also being investigated. Development of these additional markets can increase the value of algal biomass, which could significantly improve the economics of CO2 capture and recycling.

China Collaborator: ENN

U.S. Collaborators: University of Kentucky, Duke Energy