The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute (PRI) to conduct large-scale pilot testing of a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology at City Water, Light and Power’s (CWLP’s) Dallman Unit 4 in Springfield, Illinois.
DOE is allocating $47 million for this final phase to complete the project, which will build a 10 megawatt (MWe) Linde-BASF advanced post-combustion CO2 capture system to process the Dallman Unit 4 flue gas. The State of Illinois has committed an additional $20 million, bringing the total cost of this phase to $67 million.
DOE cited the successful construction and operation of the Dallman Unit 4 test plant as a means to demonstrate economic carbon capture technology and help enable commercialization of the technology. PRI projects the construction and operation of the Dallman Unit 4 carbon capture facility will have a regional economic impact of $47.1 million and will generate tax revenue of $5.6 million.
“As a large research pilot of this type, we are anticipating very high interest in the project at Dallman 4,” said Kevin OBrien, principal investigator for the project and director of PRI’s Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC). “The success of this project would be a model and foundation for more accessible, attainable carbon capture systems at facilities around the world.”
Other ISTC research projects are underway with CWLP in addition to the carbon capture testing at Dallman Unit 4, including using CO2 as feedstock for algae; scrubber wastewater treatment technology; beneficial reuse of coal fly ash in plastics; and advancing the design of a hybrid power plant and energy storage system.
Doug Brown, CWLP Chief Utility Engineer, said the projects are very timely for the energy industry. “We are very fortunate to have the University of Illinois undertake this important project at CWLP Dallman Unit 4 and at an opportune time when the energy industry is seeking to move to a zero-carbon future,” he said. “A proven and cost-effective carbon capture solution is what plants need to be able to demonstrate and transition to if a balanced, resilient and reliable energy grid is the goal. Further, I’m pleased the University is planning spinoff projects from this work in beneficial reuse and a study into a hybrid power plant, along with energy storage research.”
With this award, the project moves to “Phase III,” design and construction. This includes finalizing a detailed engineering plan and acquiring equipment and modules needed for the new system. Building the 10 MWe system is slated to begin June 2022. The testing phase is anticipated to take place beginning in March 2024 with the testing to occur from March 2024 through May 2026 for project completion.
ISTC project partners Linde Gas North America, LLC, and BASF teamed up to design the CO2 separation unit for Dallman Unit 4, and BASF will provide the chemicals needed to separate CO2 from 5% of the plant’s flue gas stream. Additional team members include multiple departments from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Affiliated Construction Services, and ICF, a National Environmental Policy Act contractor.
Read the DOE funding announcement
Learn more about ISTC's carbon capture projects