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CCT2019 - a Great Opportunity to Know More about the Status of CCS in Coal Power Plants

Figure 1 - Allam Cycle diagram (source: NET Power, presentation given by Adam Goff)

I was lucky to attend the IEA Clean Coal Centre's (IEACCC) 9th International Conference on Clean Coal Technologies (CCT 2019), celebrated in Houston (3-7th June). Co-hosted by the US Department of Energy (DOE), it attracted approximately 200 attendees.

The conference covered CCUS technologies, including overviews, specific technologies and advanced configurations. I was happy to present the IEAGHG technical programme and our last reports on coal plants with CCS, and I had the opportunity to chair the session on advanced post-combustion capture technologies.

The IEACCC organised two site visits: the NET Power and Petra Nova large demonstration projects. Firstly, I would like to thank the coordinators of both visits because it was a great opportunity to know more about both plants.

The partners involved in the NET power project are 8 Rivers, Toshiba, Exelon, MCDERMOTT and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures LLC Net Power is based on a very efficient process based on the patented thermodynamic Allam cycle, reaching a scale of 50MWth and the FEED study on the scale-up to 303MWth is completed. This configuration is based on a semi-closed circuit on supercritical CO2. As highlight, through this arrangement, it is possible to capture the more than 97% of the CO2 emissions with the benefit of producing water at a high net efficiency (58.9%). The prediction of the cost of energy production is 35$/MWh for the Nth of a kind (NOAK) plant. 

The Petra Nova facility is the current largest operational CCS project. The CO2 capture system is based on a chemical absorption process with KS-1 solvent and has been operating since 2017. The plant includes an optimum integration of the water usage, while the CO2 is used for EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery).

As outputs from the conference, it is important to highlight also the number of tests at pilot plant scale carried out worldwide. In this regard, I attended the presentation given by Will Morris, from the Wyoming Integrated Test Centre. This facility is designed for maximum flexibility and scalability for testing and is focused on larger scales to compliment the NCCC (see the update from 2018 in and create a space for further scale up. The centre was supported by a number of investors and finished their construction in 2018. Since then, this facility is ready for potential tenants. JCoal-KHI, MTR, TDA research, XPRIZE and UK are examples of users.

As summary of this event, CCT2019 was a great opportunity to learn about initiatives to achieve a "clean use of coal", identify R&D areas, analyse incentives, and see last results from large scale projects. I am looking forward to see the evolution of those plans in the next CCT conference in two years. 

Figure 2 - View of the Petra Nova plant (taken in June 2019 during the CCT2019 visit)
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