Carbon Capture, Sequestration and Conversion

To effect carbon capture (CO2 ), commodity production, and control of Mercury (Hg) from flue gas emissions from coal fired electric power generating plants.

“… if fossil fuels are to continue to contribute to the energy mix in the future, CO2 must be sequestered permanently.” Royal Soc. of Chemistry
Fossil fuel fired power plants are responsible for producing the largest percentage of the electricity that is currently being generated around the world. Demand for electricity is increasing rapidly and without abatement, both in developed and developing nations. Throughout the world, steadily growing demand for power is heightening the need for escalating capacities to produce it. Fossil fuels, and coal in particular, will continue to play a critical role in the world economy well into the future. This major source of electric power generating capacity will remain the major part of the world’s energy picture as abundant supply will stretch well into the 21st century. However, increasing evidence of the harmful effects of emissions from the combustion process leads to the search for innovative methods to treat both the CO2 and other harmful emissions from power production. Climate change is a problem of global proportions. A number of anthropogenic gases are largely responsible for driving this process forward, the most significant of which is CO2 produced by the combustion of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels represent greater than 85% of the source of power generation, and will continue far into the future. To ensure that substantial reductions in the atmospheric CO2 levels can be made during the present century and beyond, new technology must be brought to focus on the control and treatment of this contributor to global climate change. The initiatives started with the Kyoto Protocol and bridged with the recent meetings in Bali, set the stage for global regulatory initiatives. These efforts, along with country by country caps provide a basis for change. However, implementing change is never as simple as the inertia of the industrial complex is extensive. To execute this change in a timely manner can only be done on a win-win basis. Compliance with regulation will eventually accomplished, but it is viewed simply as a cost of doing business and the end result is passing on the expense to the consumer. The effects of this change cannot be denied as it affects the quality of life for all, but companies are in business to make a profit and the implementation of the changes negatively affects the bottom line. It is our hope that corporations can view this as part of a balanced look at returns. Reality dictates creating solutions that have positive economic impacts to affect the quickest path to change and the best positive impact on the environment.

TARGET: TO PROVIDE A UNIQUE SOLUTION FOR CO2 AND MERCURY CAPTURE & USE FROM COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS. To employ the Aqueous-Froth Air (AFA) filter, cavitational processing, and specialized admixes as an integrated system for carbon capture, sequestration and conversion. To effect a solution that benefits society, the environment, and provides a positive economic return for stake holders. To hand-off the technology design to strategic partners who can provide the resources necessary to commercialize the units. The PERL Carbon Capture JV was formed to initiate the design and integration of several emergent technologies into a design that would enable the capture of gas and particulates from coal fired electric generating plants and cement manufacturing operations. The CC unit would create a high level of efficiency in sequestering CO2 and allow for the capture and treatment of heavy metals including mercury. The design is optimized to be used in series with existing FGD and Precipitators to effectively clean up the emissions profile from the identified processes.

Current Best Practice
Scrubbers - Standard power plant flue gas emission filtration includes various wet-scrubber designs. Spray towers, venturis, plate towers, and packed bed towers are among the most common wet scrubbers. The AFA filter combines the cost, maintenance, reliability, and scalability of a spray tower, with the particulate capture efficiency of a venturi scrubber, and gas separation efficiency superior to a plate tower or a packed bed tower. The AFA filter offers a new way to remove CO2, mercury and other flue gas contaminants. The system layout and results from an expert system will be shown. Spray towers, when compared to the AFA filter, have relatively small interfacial area between the contaminated air stream and the filtering liquid. Total interfacial area is limited to the wet surface area of the container walls and the surface area of the falling drops. The droplets falling in counter-flow to the rising contaminated air stream results in limited time-of-contact between entrained contaminants and the filtering liquid. The small interfacial area combined with limited time-of-contact in spray towers results in relatively low filtration efficiency. Venturi scrubbers have the highest filtration efficiencies of the standard industrial wet scrubbers. However when compared to the AFA filter with an equivalent capture efficiency, the venturi scrubber has a small wet-surface area, less time-of-contact, a higher pressure drop, very high air flow velocity, and high operating and maintenance costs. Venturi scrubbers are often combined with cyclonic towers to remove excessive moisture from the air stream. Packed bed towers are the most efficient for separating contaminant gasses from an air stream of the standard wet scrubbers due to the relatively low air flow velocity through the wet, intricate air stream passageways created by the packing material. The packed bed towers have high manufacturing and maintenance costs when compared to an AFA filter. The AFA filter has superior gas separation efficiency by absorption compared to packed bed towers due to maximized liquid-to-gas interfacial contact area, and low air flow velocity, resulting in extended time-of-contact between gaseous contaminants and the liquid filtering solution.

CCS – Current best technology is the Amine (Ammonia) process manufactured in several variants by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Praxair and a Euro Consortium is used to sequester CO2. A novel process by Skyonic, Inc. using a Sodium Hydroxide reagent to create baking soda in its reaction with CO2. The installed equipment and operational costs are variable but high. “True” sequestration in which the CO2 is captured, compressed and injected underground, into depleted oil fields or deep saline formations have been proposed to save the planet. The technology has only recently been tested and demonstrated on a large scale. The technology is advancing but so far designing and building a plant that uses carbon capture can add 50% to the capital costs. Mercury treatment - The incremental cost of mercury control from a recent analysis of competing activated carbon injection (ACI) technology (excluding impact to fly ash sales and disposal practices) is estimated to range from $33,000/lb mercury removed to $131,000/lb mercury removed for a bituminous-fired unit and from approximately $18,000/lb mercury removed to $55,000/lb mercury removed for a sub bituminous-fired unit. When fly ash sales and added disposal costs are included, the incremental cost of mercury control is estimated to range from $49,000/lb mercury removed to $246,000/lb mercury removed for the bituminous-fired unit and from $40,000/lb mercury removed to $80,000/lb mercury removed for the sub bituminous-fired unit.

Market Size
It has been estimated that total new installations of treatment units will be at least $11 Billion USD per year for the next 13 years. With the average 500mw generating plant cost of approximately $200million for the FGD unit and operating and treatment costs shown above, the PERL CC unit has a significant advantage from the economics and operation of the installation. Details will follow in the technical discussions or design and implementation of current practices as compared to our design.

"From a chemical science perspective, CO2 must be seen as potential feedstock for the manufacture of useful chemicals, and, as such, the chemical conversion of significantly large amounts of carbon dioxide to inert or commercially useful material is an option that cannot be ignored." The Royal Society of Chemistry

Unique Design
Patent development creating the CC unit is described in recent filings of four provisional patent applications that are all fundamental new carbon capture and storage methods and processes: 1) Method and Means for Capture and Long-Term Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide. 11/19/07 2) Integrated Recovery and Recycling of Carbon Dioxide and Oxides of Sulfur. 11/27/07

3) Recovery and Recycling of CO2 as Calcium Carbonate Aggregates. 12/12/07 4) Producing Monodispersed Oolitic Limestone Precipitates from CO2 in Post-Combustion Flue-Gas. 12/31/07 The heart of the unit is the AFA filter that increases the surface areas of admixes to advance the capture and sequestration of targeted compounds and elements (CO2, mercury, etc). In conjunction with an proprietary cavitation processing to create nano-sized particulate in the admix, the system reaches new levels of efficiency by increasing the effective contact area to orders of magnitude better than existing technology. The inclusion of a proprietary natural attractor of Hg completes the targeted application of the PERL CC Unit and allows unparalleled efficiency of the process. Our PERL CC Unit blends these key elements to effect the mineralization and sequestration of the CO2 and Mercury capture and treatment. The mineralization of the CO2 and treatment of the heavy metal contamination by our unique process creates value-added products that can be sold to offset the cost of CCS. The sale of other value-added products (tailored to the local market demands) can be optionally configured to further provide a capture mechanism that has the potential for positive economic return to the owner/operator. Rather than the present capital and operational expense, the PERL CC Unit could be configured as an operating entity with a potentially positive economic return.

Two Markets – One Basic Unit
The PERL CC Unit is positioned to address specific and complementary market segments. The initial concept called for the unit to be used as a Carbon Capture (CO2) system capable of sequestering the CO2 released from the burning of coal for electric power generation. This design allows for reclamation and use of the CO2 into value-added products for resale. The second distinct capture ability would be to use the system with a different admix that would simply be aimed at the capture and control of Mercury (Hg) emissions. The ability of the unit to capture virtually all of the Hg and render the metal inert allows for much lower operating costs for the Mercury capture and disposal. Increasing increasing the cost of of CCS regulation in the US and other major markets to limit Mercury emissions are creating an market for expensive solutions. Our unit differentiates itself by recovering most, or all of CCS, Hg control and SOx recovery. The PERL CCS method can significantly reduce the cost by providing a profit stream from sales of value added commodities for sale.

A more detailed technical discussion is available that will outline and highlight this unique pathway to promote the Capture, Sequestration and Conversion of CO2 and Mercury unique to the PERL CC Unit. PERL CC JV, December 2007