HomeRenewablesBiomassCanada biomass and coal plant trials oxy-PFBC process

Canada biomass and coal plant trials oxy-PFBC process

Commissioning has been completed on a new thermal pilot plant in Ottawa, Canada, to advance the development of an oxygen-fired pressurized fluidized bed combustion (Oxy-PFBC) process.

The partners behind the project say that the Oxy-PFBC process generates electricity and heat with “near-zero emissions by economically capturing greenhouse gases created by biomass and coal combustion”.

US-based Gas Technology Institute (GTI) is partnering with the US Department of Energy, Natural Resources Canada/CanmetENERGY-Ottawa and Linde to validate the process, mature the technologies, and address technology gaps.

The collaboration between the US and Canada aims to advance the commercialization of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies.

The pressurized combustion in oxygen and recycling of carbon dioxide gas eliminates the presence of nitrogen and other constituents of air, minimizing the generation of pollutants and enabling more economical CO2 capture.à‚ The pilot plant includes advanced CO2 purification technologies that have been designed by Linde that contribute significantly to the cost reductions.

GTI says that oxy-combustion “enables high-efficiency gas cleanup, while pressurization shrinks the equipment size and the cost. The combustor is expected to be one-third the size of a traditional combustor and less than half the cost, saving hundreds of millions of dollars for a commercial-scale plant.”

The company adds that these reductions in equipment costs “are reflected in a lower cost of electricity. Compared with pre- and post-combustion carbon capture technologies, the cost of electricity is anticipated to be reduced by an additional 23 to 30 per cent, eliminating much of the cost associated with carbon capture. Sale of the purified CO2 can reduce the penalty even further, possibly eliminating it altogether.”

And it states that pressurized fluidized bed combustion can result in electricity production from coal with near-zero emissions, while biomass-coal blends can achieve negative CO2 emissions. A commercial-scale plant is projected to capture CO2 emissions equivalent to removing 145,000 cars from the road.

Researchers previously completed a feasibility study, and efforts are now focusing on component development and pilot-plant testing. GTI designed the system, fabricated the Oxy-PFBC, and did the system modeling. The Ottawa test facility is hosted by CanmetENERGY, the R&D laboratory for Natural Resources Canadaà‚ with unique facilities to accommodate the system setup.