As a world-class, neutral research facility, the National Carbon Capture Center is working to accelerate the commercialization of advanced technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both natural gas and coal power generation. Since its creation by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2009, the center has become a cornerstone of U.S. innovation in the research and development of cost-effective, technically viable carbon capture technologies.
Managed and operated by Southern Company, the National Carbon Capture Center has worked with more than 30 government, university and research organizations from seven countries. By providing a unique test bed for third-party developers, the facility effectively bridges the gap between laboratory research and large-scale demonstrations. The center’s state-of-the-art facilities provide the realistic operating conditions of a power plant and the infrastructure to install and evaluate the most promising carbon capture technologies for scale-up and future commercial deployment.
The National Carbon Capture Center has completed more than 100,000 hours of technology testing for carbon capture innovators, leading to significant scale-ups, process enhancements and technological breakthroughs. Based on pilot testing and development of more than 60 technologies, the center has directly participated in the reduction of projected cost of carbon capture from fossil generation by one-third, with additional cost savings likely in the future.
The National Carbon Capture Center is located in Wilsonville, Alabama, at the site of the Power Systems Development Facility, which was established by DOE in 1995 as the premier advanced coal power generation research facility in the world. DOE's vision for the PSDF was to serve as the proving ground for advanced power systems and bolster U.S. efforts to develop cost-effective, reliable coal-based generation technologies. Test facilities at the original site included gasification and pre-combustion carbon capture processes, and supported the development and commercialization of innovative solvents, sorbents, catalysts, membranes and other key technologies. Building on this foundation, work at the Power Systems Development Facility and later at the National Carbon Capture Center is now a model for the industry.