DoE Approves $50m For Carbon Capture Technology To Be Tested In Coal-Rich C-Valley

Wyoming Innovation Center

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The Department of Energy of the United States approved $51 million for the continuation of Membrane Technology and Research’s (MTR) Phase III studies of a large-scale pilot carbon capture project to be hosted at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC).

The ITC is a carbon capture, utilization and storage testing facility located in the coal-rich “C-Valley” where 5% of the exhaust gas from the Dry Fork coal-fired plant goes into a manifold system, providing ‘plug and play’ access for researchers.

The process that MTR is employing at the research site is called PolarCap and it is based on a polymeric membrane dubbed Polaris, which is the first commercial membrane developed specifically for CO2 capture applications.

The membrane works by performing a passive separation of CO2 using a difference in pressures provided by blowers and pumps.

“Unlike amine-based capture processes which require large amounts of steam to strip CO2 from loaded solvent, MTR’s capture process is driven entirely by electricity,” the group said in a media statement. “Membrane skids are compact and modular which enables capture systems to be fit into existing plants with little available space.”

MTR will work on two design variations for coal-fired power plants; one for high CO2 removal rates (90%) and a second for partial capture rates (~60%).

“We could not be more thrilled for MTR and we are excited to welcome them on-site as they start working on this next phase of testing,” Wyoming ITC Managing Director, Jason Begger, said in the brief. “At this scale, we will be able to demonstrate carbon capture technology at a sufficient level to demonstrate to utilities the next step can be a commercial version.”