Pilot Scale Demonstration of Carbon Utilization Technologies for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize

T. Hansen, K. McCabe, W. Chatterton, M. Leitch
Southern Research,
United States

Keywords: carbon capture utilization demonstration verification prize


The $20 Million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE is a global competition to develop breakthrough technologies that will convert CO2 emissions from power plants and industrial facilities into valuable products like building materials, alternative fuels, and other items that we use every day. The Carbon Xprize competition consists of three rounds of evaluations, with the semi-finals and finals requiring demonstration of each innovation at increasing scales using, ultimately, real flue gas from coal or natural gas fired power plants. Evaluations of 21 teams in the semi-finals occurred in late 2017 at target scales of 200kg/day of CO2 inlet, and a minimum of 72 hours of operation, including a 24 hour continuous operating period. Ten teams have moved to the finals, which includes demonstration of the technology at larger scale, targeting a minimum 10X scale-up at 2-5 tons/day CO2 input (pure captured CO2 or within flue gas) and 150 days of operation, with 30 days continuous. Five teams will demonstrate their technologies at the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre in Calgary, and five will exhibit at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center in Gillette, using natural gas and coal derived flue gas, respectively, from co-located utility power generation facilities. The demonstration program was established with specific competition targets in terms of technology performance (minimum 30% CO2 conversion), product value (calculated net value of produced products using standard data sets), and operational impacts (limitations on water and land usage and requirements for LCA analysis of all technologies and products). Third party evaluation and verification of the technologies was required as a key step in the competition process to ensure that technology performance was properly documented, evaluated, and accurate. Measurement and Verification approaches were developed and implemented based on the ISO 14034 environmental technology verification standard, with defined verification protocols, including measurement and instrumentation specifications, data quality requirements, and independent quality assurance. This presentation will provide a summary of: - The technologies evaluated in the semi-final demonstrations: o Principle products (including concrete, carbonates, fuels, plastics, chemicals) o Scale of demonstration (CO2 input, product output, duration of operation) o CO2 conversion percentages o Net value of products o Water and land usage o Estimated life cycle CO2 emissions - Standardized approach for measurement and verification and evaluation of technologies, including: o Data requirements o Operational requirements o Calculation of normalized net value of products and CO2 utilization - Summary of Finals demonstration requirements and information regarding technologies, host sites – capabilities and specifications, and - Potential impacts of technology utilization for the suite of competition technologies if deployed in the marketplace.