TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH

From its facility in Wilsonville, Alabama, the National Carbon Capture Center provides the infrastructure, real-world operating conditions, flexible testing and highly skilled technical team needed for commercial application of carbon capture in natural gas- and coal-based power plants. The facility supports the development of a range of technologies to ensure a broad variety of cost-competitive options for carbon capture. Novel bench- and pilot-scale processes are tested over a range of operating conditions, while generating data that evaluates efficiency, environmental performance and economic viability.


Natural Gas Carbon Capture

The National Carbon Capture Center is broadening its research scope to include testing of carbon capture technologies for natural gas power generation in addition to its existing coal-fueled testing capability. The center is currently designing and constructing facilities to generate natural gas-derived flue gas over a range of operating conditions. While leveraging existing infrastructure, the additions will provide a flexible test platform that accurately represents state-of-the-art natural gas power generation. Operations and testing will begin in 2020.


Post-Combustion Carbon Capture

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Post-combustion carbon capture testing at the National Carbon Capture Center uses flue gas from an 880-megawatt supercritical pulverized coal unit at Alabama Power’s Plant Gaston. The center supports the development of multiple post-combustion technologies by providing test sites with commercially relevant operating conditions. These include fully integrated solvent units for testing developers’ advanced carbon capture solvents and seven pilot- and bench-scale test bays for developers to install test skids.

Since construction of the post-combustion infrastructure was completed in 2011, the National Carbon Capture Center has successfully supported testing of new carbon capture enzymes, solvents, membranes and other emerging processes, while also focusing on reducing capital and operating cost penalties.

Carbon capture technology at the National Carbon Capture Center