A Novel Sorbent to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Existing Coal-Fired Power Plants

Period of Performance: 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


The electricity produced from fossil fuels is essential to the prosperity and security of the world. On the other hand, increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 caused by the fossil fuel combustion is causing concern regarding global warming. Although there are several methods for separating CO2 from the flue gases at existing coal-fired power plants, all of them have significant drawbacks, including loss of efficiency and increased capital and operating costs that dramatically increase the cost of electricity.TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) proposes to develop a low cost, high capacity sorbent to remove CO2 from coal-fired power plant effluents. In Phase I, we prepared various low cost sorbent formulations and screened them to determine their capacity to absorb CO2 under representative conditions. We also demonstrated the performance of the sorbent made from low cost precursors through 1,250 adsorption/regeneration cycles. Based on the performance results, we carried out a preliminary design of our novel CO2 capture system, estimated its size and cost, and carried out an engineering assessment to compare it to alternative processes. The analysis showed that our process will reduce the power output of the plant by only 7.8% (the reduction in efficiency will be 21.7%, compared with a reduction of 35% for amine scrubbers). In Phase II, we will continue to improve our sorbent, optimizing its chemical composition and physical properties and scale-up its production using high throughput equipment. We will demonstrate the sorbent performance in a moving bed system and test the sorbents durability through 10,000 adsorption/regeneration cycles. We will also carry out slipstream demonstration tests using actual flue gas to fully assess the sorbent performance. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: CO2 is a major greenhouse gas, and the major source for the anthropogenic CO2 emissions. It is the result of the combustion of fossil fuels, in particular the burning coal to generate electricity. The proposed technology will provide a cost effective way to control CO2 emissions from the existing coal-fired power plants, and therefore will have a large market when legislation limiting or taxing carbon emissions is put in place.