Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, O&M

Powerspan and DOE to develop power plant CO2 removal technology

13 May 2004 – Powerspan Corp., a clean energy technology company, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to develop a cost effective carbon dioxide (CO2) removal process for coal-based power plants.

The regenerative process uses an ammonia solution to capture CO2 in flue gas and release it for subsequent sequestration; after regeneration the ammonia solution is recycled. The CO2 removal process is expected to be readily integrated with Powerspan’s multi-pollutant control technology, called Electro-Catalytic Oxidation (ECO), which uses aqueous ammonia to absorb high levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury. The scope of the three-year CRADA includes laboratory testing, pilot testing, and detailed studies of the CO2 capture process economics.

Powerspan has conducted initial laboratory testing of the subject CO2 absorption process, which demonstrated 90 percent CO2 removal under conditions comparable to a commercial-scale absorber. These test results confirm those previously obtained by the Department of Energy under similar conditions. Further testing at both the Department of Energy and Powerspan under this CRADA will be conducted to fully characterize the process capability and to optimize process efficiency. The three-year agreement is expected to culminate in a pilot test on an actual power plant that would confirm process design and cost estimates. Initial cost estimates indicate that the aqueous ammonia process would cost less than half of the best CO2 capture technologies currently available for use on coal-fired power plants.

“The National Energy Technology Laboratory is proud of this cooperative venture with Powerspan. This CO2 absorption process was initiated in our lab. It is appropriate to use the best of the Department’s and commercial industry’s scientific resources on a technology that will address greenhouse gas issues associated with fossil-fuel based energy production,” said Rita Bajura, NETL’s Director.

“Although CO2 emissions are not currently regulated, power companies are searching for a CO2 removal technology that could preserve the value of their coal-fired generating fleets in a carbon constrained environment. A CO2 removal process that could be cost effectively retrofitted on existing air pollution control equipment – such as would be possible with this new CO2 removal process and ECO – would provide the power company with a valuable hedge against future regulatory risk,” said Frank Alix, Powerspan chairman and CEO.

Ms. Bajura added, “The objectives of this project are tightly aligned with our mission to develop comprehensive solutions to secure America’s future energy needs and mitigate potential environmental problems.”

Powerspan’s ECO technology removes sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, mercury, and fine particulate matter from the flue gas of coal-fired power plants. The technology has successfully completed pilot testing and is now being commercially demonstrated in a 50-megawatt installation in southeastern Ohio.

Powerspan Corp., a clean-energy technology company based in New Durham, N.H., is engaged in the development and commercialization of proprietary multi-pollutant control technology for the electric power industry. Visit for more information.